News ID: 202894
Published: 0308 GMT October 22, 2017

Pakistan-Iran trade far below potential

Pakistan-Iran trade far below potential

Relations between Iran and Pakistan are very cordial and the two countries have very close ties, but bilateral trade is well below the potentials of the two neighboring states.

According to, the leadership of the two countries have agreed to take trade figures to $5 billion in the coming years but still many steps need to be taken to achieve this.

After the nuclear deal between Iran and the P5+1, experts believed that Iran-Pakistan trade would get a boost and both countries could benefit in all fields particularly in trade and economic sector.

Though trade between Iran and Pakistan crossed $1 billion mark after the 2015 nuclear deal, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), the figure is below the trade potential of the two neighboring states.

Business between the private sectors of Pakistan and Iran is not very active and a plenty of time and opportunities have been lost, IRNA reported Sunday.

The 20th Iran-Pakistan Joint Economic Commission meeting was held in Tehran in April this year with the objective of implementing the decisions that have been taken between the two countries to enhance trade.

This year, the central banks of the two countries also signed an agreement to open a proper banking channel but this agreement is yet to materialize.

Iran is a big market and Pakistani goods have a good reputation and value in the Iranian market. There is a big demand for Pakistani basmati rice. Iranian products which are very good in quality are not very easily available in Pakistan.

In big cities one can find Chinese and other countries' products easily but not Iranian products. The only major Iranian export which is available in Pakistani stores is 'date'.

Iran-Pakistan (IP) gas pipeline is another key project that could completely change the face of Pakistan's economy and boost economic ties between the two neighbors.

Cost prices would come down and more jobs will be created if Iranian gas reaches Pakistan. Iran has already completed its section of the project but Pakistan has yet to start construction of the pipeline on its territory.

Meanwhile Pakistan's Cabinet Committee on Energy (CCE) has approved purchase of additional 100 MW electricity from Iran. Pakistan is currently importing 100 MW electricity from Iran, which has already announced its readiness to increase electricity exports to Pakistan.

Developments after the JCPOA suggest that the Iranian economy will grow rapidly in the coming years and its neighbors could easily reap the fruits of this expansion.

Pakistani businessman and member of Sialkot Chamber Of Commerce and Industry Khawar Anwar Khawaja believes the lack of banking channel is one of the major obstacles in boosting bilateral trade.

He told IRNA that trade barriers between Iran and Pakistan need to be removed and called on both sides to fully implement preferential trade agreement (PTA) and also sign free trade agreement (FTA) for stronger trade ties.

However, he said that future of trade ties between Iran and Pakistan is very bright as the two are neighboring countries which can benefit from each other in trade sector.

He said that Sialkot Chamber Of Commerce and Industry, as one of the major trade bodies of the country, is willing to enhance trade with Iran. "We are ready for all kinds of cooperation with Iran," he said.

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