Business

Iran expresses desire to join CPEC

Iran’s Commercial Attache to Pakistan, Morad Nemati Zargaran, who was leading a delegation which visited Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI) said CPEC was essential and opened up huge opportunities for both the countries.

“Iran wants to become part of this project which would surely ensure prosperity in the entire region,” Zargaran said.

The Iranian envoy, according to the report, said the business communities of the two countries should meet more frequently to improve their contacts and hold exhibitions which would help in improving bilateral trade and investment.

He added the bilateral trade was much less than the potential as Pakistan’s exports to Iran stood at a mere $330.2 million in 2018, while imports were around $1.247 billion.

Ismail said negotiations on free trade agreement (FTA) between Islamabad and Tehran are underway. Both the countries have shared their desire of upgrading preferential trade agreement into FTA for which initial drafts have already been shared.

Both the countries have already signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) through which channels would be opened in the central banks of both the countries for trade transactions that would reduce the usage of dollar account for the letter of credit clearance.

He also underscored the need to sort out infrastructural constraints to enhance bilateral trade via Quetta-Taftan land route.

“Regular operation of ECO (Economic Cooperation Organisation) container train will lend impetus to cargo and transit facilities between the two countries,” he added.

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