LAHORE: Iran wants stronger trade and economic ties with Pakistan, therefore, barter trade should be encouraged as it will be equally beneficial for both the countries.
These views were expressed by Iran Consul General Reza Nazeri while addressing business community at the Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) on Friday.
The consul general highlighted that Pakistan and Iran shared common borders and cultural bonds and Iran had always tried to strengthen bilateral relations with neighbouring countries. “Pakistan is its first preference in this regard.”
He extended full support of the Iranian consulate to prospective trade delegations, adding Iran would organise an exhibition of its products in Punjab.
“Oil, chemical, gas and other sectors of the economy should be focused for mutual trade,” he emphasised. “Pakistan has a distinguished status in milk production and Iran’s experience in dairy sector can be beneficial in this regard.”
He pointed out that Iran had a massive construction potential and could cooperate with Pakistan in that area. He underlined that both countries should join hands for the promotion of tourism as the two had an immense potential in that sector.
Answering a query, Nazeri lamented that lack of banking channels between the two countries was quite troublesome. “Last year, Iran signed an agreement with the previous Pakistan government in this regard,” he recalled. “I will contact the current Punjab government to reactivate this agreement.”
Speaking on the occasion, LCCI President Almas Hyder pointed out that over the years, the chamber and Iran consulate had worked hand in hand. He appreciated efforts of the Iranian consul general in aiding the ease of doing business through frequent direct flights between the two countries.
“Both the countries have huge domestic markets and a unique geostrategic competitive advantage,” he emphasised. “In order to utilise each other’s strength, Pakistan and Iran will have to work jointly.”
Hyder recalled his visit to Iran at the head of a business delegation in 2016 and said a great potential existed for Pakistani products in Iran.