LAHORE - A high-level Iranian delegation led by Minister for Economic Affairs and Finance Dr. Ali Taeibnia met Punjab Chief Minister Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif, here on Wednesday. It was agreed in the meeting that trade and economic relations as well as cooperation between the two countries in energy, agriculture, livestock, industries and transport sectors will be promoted. Talking to the Iranian Minister for Economic Affairs and Finance, the Chief Minister said that there are historical and brotherly relations between Iran and Pakistan and time has come to take practical measures to transform them into economic and trade ties. He said that a modern slaughter house has been set up in Lahore with the cooperation of Iran and there is a need for promotion of cooperation in other sectors as well for the benefit of the people of the two countries. He said that setting up of a joint commission between Pakistan and Iran and signing of some agreements in Islamabad augurs well for future relations. He said that there is a vast scope of promotion of bilateral cooperation in energy, agriculture, livestock, industries, transport and other sectors and there is a need to benefit from the existing opportunities. The Chief Minister while proposing to set up a joint committee between Punjab and Iran for promoting cooperation in different sectors said that it should devise a strategy for practical and speedy measures for promoting cooperation in different sectors. He said that Iran has executed metro projects in its cities and Punjab government wants that Iran should consider promotion of cooperation with Punjab also in metro projects.

He said that Iran has expertise in manufacturing plants for generation of power from gas and Iranian cooperation in this regard will be welcomed. He said that LNG terminal in Karachi will start operating in 2015 and it will help meet requirements of power houses. The Chief Minister expressed keen interest in Iranian gas plants of power generation.

Iranian Finance Minister said that the leaderships of Pakistan and Iran are determined to promote bilateral relations. He said that Iran wants to strengthen it economic and trade ties with Pakistan and hoped that like cultural and political relations, economic and trade ties between the two countries will also touch new heights. He said that Iran is ready to cooperate with Pakistan in meeting its energy needs as well as construction of new power houses. He said that Punjab’s textile industry has a vast potential and trade relations can be further strengthened through promoting cooperation in this sector.

Iranian Finance Minister while assuring cooperation regarding metro projects, welcomed the Chief Minister’s proposal for the setting up a joint committee between Punjab and Iran. He said that Chief Minister Shahbaz has taken practical measures for the progress of the people in the real sense and he is a dynamic leader. Iranian Finance Minister also invited Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif to visit Tehran. The CM said that he will visit Iran as soon as possible. Provincial Ministers Mujtaba Shuja-ur-Rehman, Rana Mashhood Ahmad, Director General Walled City, Secretaries of Planning & Development, Health, Industries, Livestock, Excise & Taxation, Deputy Minister of Iran Dr Mohammad Khazaeel, Governor of Iranian Province Sistan Osat Hashmei, Ambassador Ali Raza and other senior authorities were also present on the occasion.