Iranian Consul General Abbas Ali Abdollahi has said he held several meetings with four past governors of the State Bank of Pakistan on the establishment of a banking channel between the two countries. He was speaking to leaders of the Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI), at a reception organised in his honour, according to a KCCI release issued on Thursday.
During the event, the envoy said Iran’s Bank Milli can open its branches in Pakistan, and the National Bank of Pakistan can reciprocally open its branches in Iran. Sharing his views on the Iran-Pakistan gas pipeline project, he said that the progress on the mega project was slow. The envoy also pointed out that trade relations were not to their potential due to US-imposed sanctions. He asserted that initiatives were required to formalise undocumented trade between the two countries.
During the meeting, he also said that Iran, being Pakistan’s next-door neighbour, can provide energy “in 10 cents”. He said that there should not be an embargo on trade between Pakistan and its neighbour, as other countries of the world were already engaged in trade with Iran. Pakistani rice, wheat, fruits, dry fruits, mangoes, textile items, petrochemicals, livestock, meat and dairy had great demand in Iran.
Published in The Express Tribune, November 23rd, 2012.