Iran, Pakistan confer on establishing joint border market

March 6, 2021 - 15:27

TEHRAN – Iran and Pakistan have held an online meeting to discuss issues related to developing border trade and reached an agreement to establish the two countries’ first joint border market, an official with the Iranian Trade Promotion Organization (TPO) announced.

“A virtual meeting was held to discuss a memorandum of understanding (MOU) on the establishment of joint border markets between Iran and Pakistan, and agreements were reached in this regard,” IRNA quoted Reza Seyed Aqazadeh as saying.

According to the official, following the preparation of the draft for the mentioned MOU in December 2020, additional negotiations were made for finalizing the memorandum in the online meeting which was held at the level of deputy ministers.

Referring to the 950-kilometer border between Iran and Pakistan, as well as the two countries' interest in developing trade, Seyed Aqazadeh noted: "Border markets have so far been created unilaterally by Iran or Pakistan, and a joint market will be established between the two countries for the first time."

The development of the joint border markets is expected to improve the business activities of border residents, he added.

“Based on the agreements reached, the two sides have appointed technical teams to determine the location and size of the joint markets and to prepare a list of the items that would be traded in the markets,” the official explained.

He stated that joint markets will be set up in Kuhak and Pishin (Saravan) in the near future, and specified: “Pakistan has proposed six points on the border to create joint markets, and the Iranian side is interested in setting up joint markets as much as possible in place of existing approved markets.”

Currently, border markets of Saravan-Jaleq, Saravan-Kuhak, Sarbaz-Pishin and Chabahar-Rimdan in Sistan-Baluchestan province are active on the border with Pakistan, and the Mirjaveh market has been merged with Mirjaveh customs, according to Seyed Aqazadeh.

Earlier in December 2020, Pakistan’s Advisor to Prime Minister on Commerce and Investment Abdul Razak Dawood had said his country was seeking to enhance ties with the Islamic Republic of Iran, especially in economic areas.

Considering Pakistan’s relatively large consumer market, expansion of trade with the country and boosting exports to its market has become one of Iran's priorities in recent years.

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

EF/MA

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