ISLAMABAD: The 7th meeting of Pak-Iran Joint Trade Committee was held on Wednesday in Tehran Minister for Commerce Engr. Khurram Dastgir Khan headed the Pakistani delegation while the Iranian side was led by the Minister for Industry, Mines and Trade Mohammad Reza Nematzadeh.
The two sides reviewed the present trade level and agreed to formulate a 5-year trade-facilitation plan to fulfill the shared vision of Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif and President Rouhani to increase bilateral trade from Dollars 1 billion to Dollar 5 billion,according to press release issued.
Both sides also agreed to form a working group to devise substantial widening of the 2006 Pak-Iran Preferential Trade Agreement.
The two sides also reiterated the need for joint investment in agro-food processing and infrastructure, particularly in the field of establishing effective rail, air, road and sea links between the two countries, as well as opening new border trade-posts at Mand-Pishin and Gabd-Reemdan.
Pakistan’s Commerce Minister enunciated Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s vision to achieve shared prosperity through economic integration: enhancing trade, investment and connectivity of infrastructure, banking systems, customs and visa.
Engr. Khurram Dastgir Khan expressed concern on arbitrary and unilateral import bans, high textile tariffs, and import authorization system.
He emphasized early elimination of all non-tariff barriers between the two countries under the 2006 Preferential Trade Agreement.
On IP gas pipeline, Pakistani Commerce Minister said Gwadar to Nawabshah gas pipeline was part of Pak-China Trade Corridor and was slated for early implementation.
Pakistan will arrange construction of the remaining portion of gas pipeline from Gwadar to Iran border pipeline, thus paving way for import of Iran’s gas by Pakistan.
The Iranian Commerce Minister assured that hurdles and obstacles in the way of bilateral trade would be removed through effective measures.
He offered maximum facilitation for Pakistan’s private sector to hold and participate in trade exhibitions in Iran.
The last Joint Trade Committee meeting was held in Islamabad in 2011.
Earlier, Pakistani Commerce Minister Engr. Khurram Dastgir Khan met Iranian Minister of Economy and Finance Dr. Ali Tayyab Nia.
The two sides focused on urgently establishing a banking channel to expedite trade.
Engr. Khurram Dastgir Khan also called on Mr. Akbar Torkan, Advisor to President of Iran and Secretary Supreme Council of Iran’s Free Trade, Industrial and Special Economic Zones.
Both sides mooted proposals for a joint free-trade zone between the ports of Chabahar and Gwadar, and a trade corridor to link Chabahar, Gwadar and Chaman.