ISLAMABAD   -   Adviser to Prime Minister on Commerce Abdul Razak Dawood on Tuesday said that Pakistan intends to increase the bilateral trade and economic ties with Iran. He made these remarks in a meeting with delegation of the Iranian parliamentarians. The delegation was led by Ahmad Amirabadi Farahani, Chairman of Iran Pakistan Parliamentary Friendship Group and Member of the Iranian Parliament.

The adviser informed the delegation that Pakistan intends to increase the bilateral trade and economic ties. He underlined the importance of issues, pertaining to bilateral trade, which were discussed during Prime Minister’s last visit to Iran and expected positive response from Iranian side. These issues include operationalization of Pak-Iran PTA (signed in 2006) and working out barter trade mechanism in order to increase bilateral trade for economic development of both the countries.  He also emphasised upon the removal of all the Barriers to Trade (TBTs) which are hampering bilateral trade of both the countries. To start the barter trade, at the first instance both the countries should select few items having competitive advantage, he asserted. In this regard, Pakistan can enhance export of wheat, sugar and rice and fruit to Iran and the later can export products of its interest to Pakistan.

Iranian side acknowledged the fact that Pak-Iran trade relations are not matching the real potential. They emphasised the requirement of the constitution of a committee for barter trade. Both the countries have huge potential in agriculture which is not yet exploited, they highlighted. Iran showed interest in import of live animal which is not possible under the import policy in vogue and meat can be exported to Iran. The Iranian delegation, furthermore, touched upon the Iran-Pakistan gas pipeline issue and emphasized upon developing a mechanism to move forward on that venture as it is imperative to the economic security of both Iran and Pakistan. The Iranian parliament extended its full support to work on removal of potential bottlenecks in this project and jointly develop a way forward. Further, they also requested the Pakistani government to open more border points between Pakistan and Iran mainly at Ramdan, Pishin and Korak, which will enhance the bilateral trade.