ISLAMABAD - Pakistan Businessmen and Intellectuals Forum (PBIF) on Wednesday said PTA signed with Iran in 2006 has lost its efficacy as mutual trade has reduced by 75 percent in the last six years which calls for immediate action. The PTA should be revived or converted into FTA otherwise decision of the both countries to boost bilateral trade to five billion dollars in five years would remain a dream, said PBIF President and former provincial minister Mian Zahid Hussain.
Two way trade stood at 1321 million dollars in 2008-9 which is now as low as $43 million, he said, adding that Iran’s trade with India, Turkey and China has picked up during the same period which indicates incompetence of our export managers.
Pakistani rice, services, agricultural products, meat, beef, pharmaceuticals, cotton, yarn and chemicals have demand in Iran but our 63 percent export comprise of rice only, he said. Trade should be facilitated while smuggling should be discouraged which is threatening local oil and gas companies and tile manufacturers, said Mian Zahid Hussain.
He said that nuclear deal has renewed interest of many countries and investors in west-Asian nation while India is also trying to sign a trade deal with Tehran to penetrate in Afghanistan and Central Asia. India’s trade with Iran was 16 billion dollars which contracted to 13 billion after sanctions which will get a boost now therefore Pakistan should not waste time.