Govern­ment ef­forts to boost trade with Iran sat­is­fac­tory

The Pak Banker - - NATIONAL -

Pa­tron Is­lam­abad Cham­ber of Small Traders Shahid Rasheed Butt on Wed­nes­day lauded Prime Min­is­ter Nawaz Sharif for ini­ti­at­ing se­ri­ous ef­forts to boost trade with Iran terming them highly sat­is­fac­tory. Pak­istan and Iran can be­come im­por­tant trad­ing part­ner for which se­ri­ous ef­forts have been ini­ti­ated while an FTA be­tween both broth­erly coun­tries would be an achieve­ment of the govern­ment, he said.

Shahid Rasheed Butt said that Pak­istan should en­hance elec­tric­ity im­ports to 1000 megawatt while start im­port­ing pe­tro­leum prod­ucts to di­ver­sify it as de­pend­ing on sin­gle source is not ad­vis­able. He said that pipe­line pro­ject is still un­der sanc­tions there­fore ev­ery op­tion should be ex­plored to ex­pe­dite it with­out which en­ergy cri­sis will con­tinue to harm econ­omy.

Gas im­port deal which was to bring a rev­o­lu­tion in the Pak­istan's en­ergy mar­ket is still un­der sanc­tions there­fore the two coun­tries should con­sider ink­ing new en­ergy deals, he added.

The vet­eran busi­ness leader said that bi­lat­eral trade which was once one bil­lion dol­lars but now Pak­istan's ex­ports have come down to 128 mil­lion dol­lars de­spite the agree­ment be­tween both coun­tries to boost trade to five bil­lion dol­lars.

Pak­istani beef, rice, fruit, veg­etable, sports goods and IT ser­vices are in great de­mand in neigh­bour­ing na­tion which needs a lit­tle push from au­thor­i­ties as well as the pri­vate sec­tor.

Pak­istan should not waste any time for open­ing of bank­ing chan­nels with Iran and im­prove trans­port in­fra­struc­ture. Im­proved trade with Iran can also help bailout tex­tile sec­tor which is pay­ing price for re­ces­sion in China, cot­ton col­lapse and in­com­pe­tency of semi-ed­u­cated ex­port man­agers, he said. He noted that Tehran's in­cli­na­tion to take part in eco­nomic cor­ri­dor pro­ject will ben­e­fit bother coun­tries while Ira­nian com­pa­nies will in­vest heav­ily in Pak­istan.

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