FAISALABAD: (APP) Pakistani Ambassador to Tehran Asif Khan Durrani on Wednesday said that enhanced connectivity and banking channels between Pakistan and Iran were imperative to fully exploit the post-sanction opportunities.
In this connection negotiation were in advance stage and positive news was expected within a month time, he added.
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Addressing the business community in Faisalabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FCCI), he said that Pakistan and Iran were brotherly neighboring countries. "Both are enjoying good diplomatic relations but due to different reasons we could not fully exploit the economic potential," he said and added that Iran had surplus energy while Pakistan was an energy starved country. Similarly, Iran was facing food shortage while Pakistan could export rice and other commodities to it.
He said that Trade Development Authority of Pakistan (TDAP) was organizing "Aali Shaan" Pakistan Exhibition in Tehran from March 4 to 7, 2017 which would play a major role in opening new avenues of trade between the two countries.
He urged the textile exporters of Faisalabad to actively participate in this exhibition to enhance their share in textile export of Pakistan. He said that Pakistani denim was very popular in Iran.
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He said that Pakistani exporters should make special value added products for Iran in accordance with their needs and fashion trends.
He also stressed the need for enhancing connectivity and said that because of UN sanctions the air links between two countries were still very poor. Similarly the cargo train could not be managed via Tuftan border only because of non-availability of sufficient cargo load.
Earlier in his welcome address, acting president FCCI Rana Sikandar Azam said that Iran was our neighbor and brotherly Islamic country.
He said that after lifting sanctions Iran was making serious efforts to promote its trade and Pakistan being its neighbor would definitely be its first choice.
He said that Pakistan and Iran had agreed to increase their bilateral trade up to 5 billion dollars during next five years and in this connection, Federal Commerce Minister Khuram Dastagir was going to visit Tehran on December 28-29. During his visit, he will negotiate within concerned Iranian minister to decide the measures to increase our bilateral trade.
He said that Pakistan and Iran were already signatories of PTA (Preferential Trade Agreement) while negotiations are in progress on FTA (Free Trade Agreement).
Rana Sikandar Azam said that major hurdle in the promotion of bilateral trade between Pakistan and Iran is non-existence of banking channels . He said that government of Pakistan had allowed State Bank of Pakistan to negotiate on important points which would ultimately help the both countries to establish their banks in each others countries.
Later, FCCI shield was presented to Ambassador Asif Khan Durrani.