KARACHI - Pakistan and Iran bilateral trade has increased to $ 125 million in the first three months of current fiscal year after the launching of preferential trade agreement (PTA) between the two neighbours. This was stated by Commercial Attache, Consulate General of Iran, Ahmad Fasihi while talking to APP at Iranian Pavilion during on-going 2nd ECO Trade Fair 2008. He said Pakistan's exports to Iran were estimated at $ 66 million while its imports from Iran were $ 59 million. "The total trade volume will be increased to $ 1 billion this year from last year's $ 420 million after the signing of PTA between the two brotherly countries", he hoped. He pointed out that both the countries have reduced customs duty to 20 percent on 648 tradeable items which are included in the list under PTA. Pakistan has reduced customs duty on 338 items to 20 percent while Iran has slashed customs duty to 20 percent on 309 Pakistani items. This has encouraged the businessmen of both sides to promote bilateral trade, he noted. Fasihi said Export Promotion Bank of Iran will open its branch in Karachi in the next few months to facilitate opening of letter of credit (L/C). He said currently, 8-member delegation of Iran Chamber of Commerce is visiting Pakistan to participate in the 2nd ECO trade exhibition. The delegation will hold meetings with chamber of commerce and leading businessmen in Karachi to explore avenues to boost bilateral trade. These efforts will help in increasing the number of items in the bilateral trade, he opined.