Tuesday May 17, 2022

Iran points at goods for barter trade with Pakistan

By Our Correspondent
September 20, 2020

KARACHI: Iran is ready to export petrochemical, steel and liquefied petroleum products to Pakistan in return of rice, meat and other agriculture products in a barter trade arrangement, its top official said.

Iran is willing to start barter trade with Pakistan with energy and agriculture sectors having potential to increase exports and imports, Iranian Consul General Reza Nazeri said during a meeting with businessmen. Iranian government is ready to facilitate Pakistan’s private sector to promote bilateral trade and investment, he said in a statement.

Nazeri dismayed over insignificant bilateral trade with Pakistan despite immense potential, reiterating its resolve to facilitate private sector for barter trade.

“The volume of two-way trade between Pakistan and Iran is negligible. The mutual trade of two countries does not match their respective potentials,” he said. Currently, the bilateral trade stands at $359 million including exports to Iran amounting to $36 million against its imports at $323 million.

“Pakistan and Iran have the potential to cater to each other’s needs provided the businessmen have the exposure to the available opportunities,” he said. “The business community in the two countries would have to increase interaction to share their experiences in the larger interests of the people of two brotherly nations.”

The envoy said the chambers of commerce in the two countries would have to focus on expansion of trade by holding single-country exhibitions and through trade delegations to each other’s country. “Dissemination of sector-specific and trade-related information would go a long way in achieving the goal.”

The Iranian consul general said agriculture, tourism and metal industries of Iran have opportunities of investment and Pakistani business community should come forward.

Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI) President Anjum Nisar said reasons for low volume of trade include ignorance about each other’s’ potential and non-utilisation of the territorial connectivity.

“Tariff and non-tariff barriers are major obstacles in the way of trade enhancement,” Nisar said. “All the four traditional transportation modes are available for bilateral trade between and Pakistan and Iran including air, sea, road and rail but unfortunately none of these modes of transportation are efficiently and economically utilised at present.”

Nisar said transport licenscs should be issued to allow vehicles move freely across the border.

“Through this step the exporters of both the countries would be able to get direct access to the consumers,” he said. “The other step is to provide proper and complete information about the products, which can be done by organising single country exhibitions.”

FPCCI president said various decisions regarding the expansion of trade and economic relations between Pakistan and Iran have been taken up previously. “Unfortunately, due to the instable and unpredictable international and regional political processes, nothing has been in practicality.”

Nisar said Iran and Pakistan are member of emerging regional trade blocks. “Geographical locations of both the countries affect their neighbouring countries,” he said. “Both countries should seek various avenues of cooperation for penetration of their products in these markets. We should study and review our bilateral preferential trade agreement and incorporate various avenues of investment that has been emerging due to changing regional dynamics.”

FPCCI president reassured the Iranian consul general that the apex chamber of the country would continue to play its role for increasing bilateral trade and economic relations.