Iran-Pakistan online business forum to be held next week

December 15, 2020 - 13:55

TEHRAN- In a bid to expand trade relations between Iran and Pakistan, Tehran Chamber of Commerce, Industries, Mines, and Agriculture (TCCIMA), and Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI) will hold an Iran-Pakistan business forum via webinar on December 22.

The online forum will cover issues related to bilateral cooperation in the fields of energy, tourism, transportation, food and medicine, agriculture, health, leather and garments.

TCCIMA has also held a webinar on the expansion of trade with Pakistan in collaboration with Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry on December 9.

In the webinar, which was attended by the officials and representatives of the two countries’ private sectors, the two sides discussed ways for the expansion of trade ties.

TCCIMA Head Masoud Khansari, Head of Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry Tariq Misbah, and TCCIMA Deputy Head for International Affairs Hesamedin Hallaj were among the attendees to this online event.

During the webinar, the two sides underlined the problems caused by the U.S. sanctions and the coronavirus pandemic in the economic relations between the two countries and stressed the need for using barter trade, removal of non-tariff barriers, the expansion of cross-border and preferential trade as ways of increasing trade exchanges.

The two sides criticized the incompatibility of the volume of trade between Iran and Pakistan with the capacities and potentials of the two countries and called for boosting trade relations to over $5 billion.

Pakistan has a relatively large consumer market with a population of over 200 million.

According to the World Trade Organization, imports constitute over 66 percent of Pakistan’s trade.

Expansion of trade with Pakistan, and boosting exports to this neighbor is one of Iran's priorities.

In a visit to Pakistan in mid-November, Head of Iran’s Trade Promotion Organization (TPO) Hamid Zadboum met with Pakistan’s deputy economic affairs minister to discuss the expansion of trade ties with the neighboring country.

In the meeting, the representatives of the Foreign Affairs Ministry, the Ministry of Transport and Urban Development, and the Energy Ministry held talks with their Pakistani counterparts to discuss a variety of issues including electricity exports, and maritime, road, and rail transportation cooperation.

The TPO head had visited Pakistan along with a high-ranking delegation headed by Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif.

Iran's exports to Pakistan in the past Iranian calendar year (ended on March 19) was $1.18 billion, but in the meantime, financial and banking problems have still created obstacles in the way of trade relations with this country.

And although due to the banking and financial problems, barter trade with Pakistan is still emphasized by Iran; experts and those active in the economic fields believe that Iran should seriously pursue the idea of a bilateral joint bank with Pakistan, while taking trade facilitation measures in line with signing agreements.

MA/MA

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