UBG urged the govt to to en­hance bi­lat­eral trade with Iran

The Pak Banker - - NATIONAL -

KARACHI: United Busi­ness Group's ( UBG) sec­re­tary gen­eral and a for­mer vice pres­i­dent of FPCCI, Zubair F.Tu­fail has urged the govern­ment to for­mu­late a long-term pol­icy to en­hance bi­lat­eral trade with Iran. He said that Iran was a lead­ing trad­ing part­ner of Pak­istan prior to im­po­si­tion of sanc­tions by the United Na­tions Se­cu­rity Coun­cil.

Zubair said the govern­ment should an­nounce a long-term in­te­grated trade pol­icy aimed at en­hanc­ing bi­lat­eral trade be­tween Pak­istan and Iran. "We be­lieve that a pol­icy is re­quired to get max­i­mum ben­e­fits when sanc­tions against Iran have al­ready been lifted," he added. He said that when the State Bank of Pak­istan (SBP) had an­nounced lift­ing of bank­ing sanc­tions on Iran, al­low­ing banks and fi­nan­cial in­sti­tu­tions (FIs) to be­gin nor­mal busi­ness/bank ing ac­tiv­i­ties within the scope of a UN res­o­lu­tion, need of the hour is to strengthen bank­ing chan­nel be­tween the two coun­tries and a com­pre­hen­sive pol­icy should be an­nounced to ac­crue ben­e­fits of lift­ing of sanc­tions against Iran. Iran was a ma­jor im­port­ing coun­try of rice, pa­per and other com­modi­ties and as such it's a golden op­por­tu­nity to re­cap­ture the mar­ket, he opined. He was of the view that Pak­istan could cap­ture Ira­nian mar­ket with some ef­forts and fetch be­tween $4 and $5 bil­lion through ex­ports in the next few years. Hail­ing the SBP's an­nounce­ment of lift­ing sanc­tions on bank­ing trans­ac­tions be­tween Pak­istan and Iran, Tu­fail said that the cen­tral bank's timely de­ci­sion will fa­cil­i­tate the busi­ness­men, par­tic­u­larly ex­porters, to re­sume trade with Iran. He was op­ti­mistic that bi­lat­eral trade be­tween the two coun­tries will grow as pre­vi­ously banks were re­luc­tant to es­tab­lish Let­ter of Cred­its or is­sue E-form in the wake the sanc­tions.

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