LAHORE - Iranian Consul General Mohammad Hossein Bani Assadi has said the business community in the two countries will have to increase interaction to share their experiences in the larger interest of the people of the two nations, through sector-wise trade delegations and single country exhibitions from the platform of Chambers of Commerce of the two countries.

He said that such steps would benefit bilateral trade relations of Pakistan with Iran, since countries share border, rich resources, culture and religion. He said that through Iran, Pakistan could initiate trade with Central Asian States via land route, forming an important region for Global Economics due to CPEC and One Belt One Road. Lahore, as premier chamber, will be leading the trade with Iran and ECO counties and delegations are being formed to visit neighbouring countries, Abdul Basit said.

The Iranian consul was informed that the State Bank of Pakistan governor had assured during his recent visit to LCCI that Pak-Iran banking channels would be reconnected sooner than expected.

The Consul General said that Iranian Airlines would start operations with initially two flights per week, one from Lahore and one from Karachi, to Tehran in near future. He added that Iran has completed its part of fibre optic cable, which only needs connection with Pakistan to improve the telecommunication structure between the two countries.

The president said that letters would be written to the prime minister and the Ministry of Communication that the communication gap should be bridged “if we want to cement mutual trade relations”. He said that both sides needed to conduct market research to strengthen trade relations between the two countries. Priority should be given to each other for import of goods rather than buying from distant countries.

Former LCCI President Syed Mohsin Raza Bukhari laid stress on collaboration in SMEs and mega projects like onshore and offshore oil and gas exploration activities, hydel and coal based energy projects, paper and board, sugar, cement, chemicals, transport and communication, construction of roads in Pakistan, scientific and educational cooperation, handicrafts, artificial jewellery, carpets, fancy furniture, etc. He said that Pakistan was basically an agricultural country bestowed with a variety of seasons and agro-based products, but due to a lack of post-harvest technologies a lot of agriculture produce was wasted. Hence, technology from Iran can help Pakistan’s agro-based food processing and dairy industry to improve. Pakistan is one of the leading countries and known around the globe for its textile potential and products, that still needs to be properly introduced in Iranian business houses. Such efforts can also prove vital to equalise our trade balance.