KARACHI – Consul General of Iran Abbas Ali Abdollahi has said that political relations between two countries were high and people of both countries had deep love and respect for each others and relations dated back to centuries based on religious, cultural and traditional norms.

Consul General of Iran speaking on farewell reception in his honour, expressed profound gratitude to the Leadership of Karachi Chamber of Commerce & Industry and four Presidents of KCCI with whom he availed the opportunity for interaction from year 2010 to 2012 and managed several meetings with Iranian business delegations and government dignitaries.

He said that he enterprise best to bring closer two countries and its people and was of the view that sanctions won’t affect historical relations between two brotherly Muslim countries. In future a lot of avenues of mutual cooperation will open. During his 29 months assignment in Karachi, he received best support from both Federal and Provincial Governments as well as the private sector, he informed. He said that he was taking sweet memories with him and prayed that Almighty God bless both brotherly countries and Muslim Umah and Pak-Iran friendship will further strengthen in future.

Exchanging views on Pak-Iran bilateral trade in a meeting with President KCCI held earlier, he said trade relations were not according to the existing potentials due to sanctions. He said that he had several meetings with last four Governors of State Bank of Pakistan on establishment of banking channel between two countries as Bank Milli of Iran can open its branches in Pakistan and in reciprocity National Bank of Pakistan can open its branches in Iran.

He was of the view that Pakistan’s banking channels were established with various countries worldwide thus Iran should not be neglected.

He said that top leadership and ministers do have will to cement ties whereas progress on implementation was slow. Sharing views on originally proposed Iran-Pakistan-India gas pipeline, now Iran-Pakistan gas pipeline also called “Peace pipeline”, he said that the progress on mega project on cost sharing basis between two countries was slow; Iran had laid 1200 kilometres pipelines from Bander Abbas up to Balochistan border, international pressure and other factors were affecting the progress.

President KCCI Muhammad Haroon Agar has impressed upon need to form Karachi-Tehran Joint Chamber of Commerce & Industry to explore the huge trading potential between two bordering neighbour countries. He urged the Governments of Pakistan and Iran to introduce banking channel and make arrangements for currency swap to enhance Pak-Iran bilateral trade.

He asserted upon the need to take measures such as economic integration and reduction in transaction costs, port-to-port activities and customs mechanism to expand the volume of bilateral trade. He urged to activate and develop regional trading block of ECO countries, particularly between Pakistan, Iran and Turkey.