Staff Reporter Karachi
Hassan Nourian, consul general of the Islamic Republic of Iran in Karachi, has emphasised the need to enhance bilateral trade with Pakistan.
“The formal trade between the two countries is just $1 billion, which is very low; given the fact that the combined population of Pakistan and Iran is 300 million,” he said, at a meeting with the members of the Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI) on Tuesday.
There might be informal trade along the lines; but, the two countries must work in tandem to progres-sively increase the bilateral trade on a sustainable basis, he added.
The quality of Iranian products is world-class and Iranian industry buys atheir plants mostly from the best manufacturers, he said, and appreciated the willingness of the Pakistani Embassy in Iran to sup-port enhancement of bilateral trade.
Nourian said that there is still a huge untapped po-tential for Pakistani fruits in Iran; particularly, vari-ous varieties of mango. He also emphasised the petrochemical industry is very advanced in Iran technologically and can greatly help Pakistan with their foreign exchange strains.
Earlier, Mian Nasser Hyatt Maggo, president of the FPCCI, extended his heartiest welcome to Nourian and Mahdi Amir Jafari, third consul for economic affairs, at the Federation House, Karachi. Maggo said that the FPCCI is very keen to enhance bilateral trade between the two countries and for that matter removal of the bottlenecks is warranted.
The lack of banking and financial channels; absence of barter-trade agreements or mechanisms at gov-ernmental level and unfair geopolitical pressures are the major bottlenecks, he added.
The FPCCI chief explained that the central/state banks of the two countries and apex chambers of commerce and industry need to come closer; and, “we can immediately start the consultative proc-esses immediately at various levels through webi-nars”.