Envoy: Iran, Pakistan to boost trade to $5b
Iran and Pakistan have agreed to increase to trade between the two countries to $5 billion from the current $1.5 billion annually, said Iran’s consul general in the Pakistani city of Quetta.
According to Fars News Agency, Mohammad Rafiei noted that Iran-pakistan trade in the nine months from March 21-December 21, 2017 stood at $982 million indicating a growth of 49 percent year-onyear.
He underlined that the two sides had, in recent meetings, agreed to increase bilateral trade to $5 billion.
In January, a senior Iranian diplomat announced that Tehran and Islamabad had agreed to enhance cooperation in various fields, especially in the economic sector.
Iran’s Ambassador to Pakistan Mehdi Honardoust said during a meeting with Pakistan’s Minister of State for Finance Rana Muhammad Afzal Khan in Islamabad that the two sides signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to broaden ties in various fields, including the trade and economy.
The ambassador pointed out that resumption of banking ties between Iran and Pakistan is very important to enhance trade between the two brotherly and friendly states.
“We have already signed an agreement in this respect so it should be implemented at the earliest,” he said.
The overall trend of strengthening relations was positive, Honardoust noted.
Afzal Khan said that Iranpakistan relations have historical perspective and the two countries share common traditions.
He assured the Iranian ambassador that he will take appropriate steps to resume banking ties between the two countries.
“I will be working very closely on this to solve this problem; I will hold meetings with the top officials of the State Bank and National Bank of Pakistan to solve the issue. I will do my best,” Afzal Khan said.
Afzal Khan said banks are in private sector so they have to be persuaded to do it, adding, “We have to take some banks on board and for them it is a good business.”
He reiterated that Pakistan wants to have strong relations with Iran in all areas, and said, “We are brothers. We have to solve the problems we have to find the way, we don’t want to delay this mater.”