News ID: 203210
Published: 0400 GMT October 27, 2017

IP gas pipeline could address Pakistan's energy issues: Envoy

IP gas pipeline could address Pakistan's energy issues: Envoy

Iran-Pakistan (IP) gas pipeline project could address Pakistan's energy issues and benefit its economy by providing cheap power, said Iran's ambassador to Pakistan.

Speaking at the Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ICCI), Mehdi Honardoust said Iran has spent millions of dollars to lay the gas pipeline up to the border with Pakistan, but there was no progress on the Pakistani side, The Nation reported.

He said that though Pakistan-Iran trade increased to $1.2 billion in 2017, it does not reflect the true potentials of the two countries.

Iran's trade with regional countries stands at billions of dollars, he noted, and urged the Pakistani business community to make serious efforts to make full use of the potentials for trade with Iran.

On banking channels, he said it involved some technical discussions; however, the ball was now in Pakistan's court as Iran was ready to enter into any workable arrangement with Pakistan to facilitate the private sectors conduct banking transactions.

He said that Iran's president visited Pakistan twice which showed his country's seriousness to promote trade and economic relations with Pakistan. He said lot of time has been lost and Pakistan should now make strong efforts to promote economic cooperation with Iran.

He assured that his embassy would extend all possible cooperation to Pakistani business community in exploring business prospects in Iran.

Honardoust also said that Iran is ready to supply 1000-3000 megawatts of electricity to Pakistan if Islamabad signs an agreement with Tehran.

ICCI President Sheikh Amir Waheed said that Pakistan-Iran trade has witnessed an inconsistent pattern and the two countries should facilitate private sector participation in promoting trade.

He said that a reduction in high tariffs by Iran on Pakistani products would help improve trade figure and frequent exchange of trade delegations and participating in exhibitions of each other country would greatly help strengthen trade relations.

He said if issues were resolved, trade between Pakistan and Iran could go up to $5 billion in the next few years.

The official said both countries have good potential to complement each other in many areas and they should focus on promoting business ties between the private sectors to explore all untapped areas of mutual cooperation.

ICCI Senior Vice President Muhammad Naveed and Vice President Nisar Mirza said that establishing border markets and opening additional border crossings would help in increase trade.

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