News ID: 237068
Published: 0345 GMT January 08, 2019

Iran, Pakistan to broaden economic ties

Iran, Pakistan to broaden economic ties

Tehran and Islamabad are determined to increase bilateral trade up to $5 billion, said an Iranian official adding that Iran-Pakistan Free Economic Zone is expected to open in the city of Mirjaveh in Iran's Sistan-Baluchistan Province in the coming days.

Iran's Consul General in the southwestern Pakistani city of Quetta Mohammad Rafiei, in meeting with Chief Minister of Pakistan's Balochistan Province Jam Kamal Khan said that the joint free economic zone will open in the coming days, reported Fars News Agency.

In the meeting, both sides noted that boosting trade between the two neighboring nations would directly benefit ordinary citizens.

Reports further suggested that increasing Pakistan-Iran trade to $5 billion remained the focal point of the meeting.

Rafiei and Kamal called for trade via Pakistan-Iran border points and economic zones to foster bilateral economic relations.

They also discussed implementation of decisions taken by the Pakistan-Iran Border Commission and Joint Border Trade Commission.

"Both nations have had social, political and cultural relations for decades; therefore, the Iranian government has always placed importance on relations with Pakistan," said Rafiei, describing the Pakistan's Balochistan Province as an important bridge between his country and Iran.

During the meeting, the Iranian consul general invited Chief Minister Kamal to visit Iran's Sistan-Baluchistan Province.

"Today, relations between the two countries depend a lot upon trade and economic relations with neighboring country can only be strengthened by boosting trade activities," said Kamal, adding that unrest in the region had a negative impact on economic stability in Pakistan as well as Iran.

"The federal and provincial governments have been taking measures to enhance trade with Iran," said Kamal, adding that Islamabad had been making effective strides to curb drug smuggling and bringing peace to the border areas.

"The tax-free border markets in Pakistan and Iran will boost economic ties between the two countries," said Kamal.

The chief minister also briefed the Iranian consul general on the security measures taken for pilgrims traveling from Balochistan to Iran.

Earlier on Friday, Pakistan's Minister for Communication and Works Department of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province Akbar Ayub Khan, in a meeting with Iran's Consul General in Peshawar Mohammad Baqer Beigi, expressed his country's desire to benefit from Iran's vast experience in developing the country's infrastructure.

Ayub Khan said that Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province wants to cooperate with Iran in technical and engineering sectors to develop its infrastructure especially in building of roads and bridges.

Referring to close ties between Iran and Pakistan, the minister said Islamabad is willing to send a team of experts to Iran to see the progress of the country in building roads, tunnels and bridges.

Beigi said that both countries would overcome problems in bilateral ties, if any, adding that his country is willing to cooperate with Pakistan in infrastructure development.

He said the visit of team of experts from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province to Iran would be finalized soon and that close cooperation between Iran and Pakistan in economic sector would benefit the two neighboring states.

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