Expressing hope that Pakistan and Iran will soon sign an agreement over the import of 1000MW of power from the latter, the Consul General of Iran in Peshawar Hassan Darvishvand on Thursday urged both countries to avail the trade opportunities present between them.
Talking to a delegation of traders here at the Federation of Pakistan Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI) led by Zubair Ali, the vice-president of the organisation, the consul general provided figures regarding current trade activities and listed items that could be traded by either side.
He said Iran can export a wide range of products to Pakistan such as electricity, fuel and petrochemical products, dairy products, dry fruits, electronics and spare parts for vehicles while importing rice, meat, fruit and precious stones from the latter.
Stating that Iran imported $3b worth in rice annually, Hassan claimed that Pakistani rice was in demand in his country and urged Islamabad to take maximum advantage of the opportunity. Similarly, he stated Iran imported $1b to $2b worth in meat annually and sought to satisfy this demand by procuring it from Muslim countries. The consul general further stated that Pakistan’s annual export is worth $58b while Iran’s annual import is worth $35b. He added that current annual trade between the two countries stood at $1b and hoped the figure will rise to $20b.
Head of the delegation Zubair Ali reiterated the shared cultural and historical heritage of the two countries. Reminding the consul general of the suffering Pakistan recently underwent due to natural disasters and terrorism, he requested trade aid from Iran.
Muttahida Anjuman-e-Tajaraan president Jehangir Ghafraan Saraaf, who also spoke on the occasion, stressed stronger trade ties and asked Iran to cut down the import duty on Pakistan.
Published in The Express Tribune, April 13th, 2012.