LAHORE     -    Iranian Consul General Mohammad Reza Nazeri on Monday visited Lahore Chamber of Commerce and industry and had a detailed discussion with the office-bearers on trade & economic relations between the two countries.

LCCI President Irfan Iqbal Sheikh, Senior Vice President Ali Hussam Asghar, Vice President Mian Zahid Jawaid Ahmad, Iranian Commercial Counselor Ali Asghar, former Pakistani Ambassador to Iran Asif Durrani, former LCCI presidents Bashir A Baksh, Farooq Iftikhar, former SVPs Amjad Ali Jawa, Khawaja Khawar Rasheed and Executive Committee members also spoke on the occasion.

Iranian Consul General said that despite all odds, bilateral trade between the two countries was good. He hoped that mutual trade and economic relations would be stronger in future. He invited the LCCI members to participate in two separate exhibitions of hot & cool equipment and medical equipment being held after 10 days and 40 days respectively.

Mohammad Reza Nazeri said that Pakistan and Iran have common borders and cultural bonds. Iran has always tried to strengthen the bilateral relations with neighbouring countries and first priority was Pakistan. He said that Iranian Consulate would extend full support to the trade delegations.

Irfan Iqbal Sheikh said that an Export Desk would soon be set up at the Chamber. He said that Pakistan and Iran have large domestic markets and unique geo-strategic competitive advantage. In order to make use of each other’s strong areas, both countries would have to make joint efforts. He said that the latest trade figures did not reflect the actual potential between two countries.

“According to ITC trade map, the bilateral trade showed upward trend during the last two years. For example, in 2017, the volume of two-way trade was 354 million dollars which went up to 397 million dollars in 2018”, he added. In 2016, Pakistan exported to the tune of 36 million dollars to Iran that in following years contracted to 27 million dollars and last year ended up at 23 million dollar. He said that there were some bottlenecks in the way of increasing trade which required to be addressed on priority basis. “By reducing smuggling and undocumented trade, we can improve the figures of bilateral trade”, he said.

LCCI Executive Committee members Haji Asif Saher, Shafique Butt, Fiaz Haider, Wasif Yousaf, Zeeshan Sohail Malik, Aqib Asif, Haris Ateeque and Mohammad Khalid were present on the occasion.