IN a significant development to give much needed impetus to their bilateral relationship, Pakistan and Iran have signed thirty nine MOUs to enhance bilateral trade, improve economic relations and ensure cooperation in various fields such as transportation, tourism, fisheries, mines and minerals.
The MOUs were signed at the conclusion of a two- day meeting of the joint border trade committee on Sunday night.
Owing to their close proximity, we see it as a big step to realize the potential of trade and economic relations between the two brotherly countries.
However, it is also a sad fact that often such MOUs remain unimplemented because of various reasons.
In the past also both the countries signed many agreements but the results are not much visible on the ground.
Hence it is really important that the two countries also evolve a strong mechanism to ensure implementation of the agreements in letter and spirit.
There is an understanding to increase the bilateral trade to five billion dollars annually and we believe this is very much achievable rather the potential is far higher which can be exploited through the right kind of interventions.
The opening up of more border markets is a step in the right direction which will not only enhance our trade but would also provide economic opportunities and sustenance to people residing in the border areas.
The latest MOUs in the mines and minerals sectors are important in the sense that both the countries have vast natural resources and if are fully brought to use, these can change our economic landscape and can bring prosperity in the lives of backward areas.
It is a matter of satisfaction that both the countries are also moving towards signing a free trade agreement which needs to be concluded at the earliest whilst addressing the barriers.
Concessions in tariff will go a long way in giving a major boost to the bilateral trade. Simultaneously collective efforts also need to be made to check smuggling and human trafficking on the border.