Promoting trade: Pakistan and Iran sign a 32-point MoU – Business & Finance
ISLAMABAD: Pakistan and Iran have signed a 32-point memorandum of understanding for the promotion of bilateral trade between the two countries.
It is learned that the memorandum of understanding was signed during the ninth meeting of the joint Iranian-Pakistani Trade Committee held in Zahedan (Iran).
The two sides agreed to take steps to expand annual trade exchanges by 2023. Through the MoU, Pak-Iran trade relations and barter trade would flourish and continue unimpeded.
The Pakistani delegation was led by Muhammad Sadiq, Collector-in-Chief of Customs (Baluchistan) and the Iranian side was led by Director General of Industry, Mining and Trade Organization, Iran. The two senior officials signed the MoU on behalf of the respective countries.
President of the Quetta Fida Chamber of Commerce and Industry Hussain Dashti and Senior Vice President Haji Ayyub and Vice President Amjad Ali Siddiqui and other senior QCCI officials were also present.
The signing ceremony took place at the end of the two-day meeting of the joint Iran-Pakistan trade commission, which was tasked with laying the groundwork for boosting trade relations between the two countries.
A six-member committee was formed comprising customs, border and trade officials. The committee would review the status of implementation of the decisions of the joint Iranian-Pakistani trade commission. The first meeting of the committee would be held in July 2022 in Pakistan. The next meeting will take place in Iran.
Under the MoU, the two sides agreed to operationalize the five-year strategic trade in transportation, increase the barter trade basket, build common border markets as well as reduce tariffs. .
Customs authorities in Pak and Iran would establish a hotline to help traders from both sides.
The two sides agreed to ensure the gradual implementation of border markets and investor access to special economic zones for enchanting trade between the two countries. The six marketplaces are to be established on the border between Pakistan’s Balochistan province and Iran’s Sistan-Baluchistan province.
The full implementation of the MoU would not only promote business activities between the two countries but also help create huge job opportunities for their people.
The MoU would also ensure the rapid establishment of common border markets as part of efforts to boost cross-border economic exchanges and crack down on illegal border trade.
In conclusion, the Pakistani side believed that we hope the promotion of bilateral trade will make the two brotherly countries economically prosperous. QCCI members have always played a vital role in promoting legal trade between Pakistan and Iran for which they are to be commended.
Customs officials referred to the desire to expand bilateral economic ties, saying Iran was ready to remove obstacles to the development of trade with Pakistan in a bid to strengthen economic ties with the neighboring country.
Pakistan’s export basket to Iran is narrow, with 63% of exports consisting solely of rice. A Preferential Trade Agreement (PTA) was signed with Iran in 2006. Tariff concessions were granted to Iran on 309 tariff lines while Pakistan obtained concessions on 338 tariff lines. The main sectors covered by the PTA were rice, fruits, cotton, cotton yarn, pharmaceuticals and cutlery.
Copyright Business Recorder, 2022