Upgrade trade with Iran

AT long last, it seems the authorities concerned are waking up from deep slumber, realizing urgency of boosting trade with our brotherly and neighbouring country – Iran. Ministry of Commerce convened a meeting of representatives of all banks on Tuesday where directions were given to them to furnish viable proposals for facilitation of banking transactions for trade with Iran within a month.
Pakistan and Iran have enjoyed close and cordial relations and the warmth started when Tehran became one of the first countries to recognize Pakistan after independence in August 1947. Similarly, Pakistan and Iran not only remained steadfast allies and reliable partners but Pakistan also was one of those countries that recognized Islamic revolution of Iran in 1979. There have been some irritants as well caused by regional and world view of some of the issues of concern to the two countries but despite all that bilateral trade crossed one billion dollar mark in pre-sanction period, which has now shrunk to just $270 million. This is despite the proximity factor that makes it easier to boost trade and economic ties at the minimal cost. There is huge potential to increase bilateral trade provided the two sides engage into meaningful discussions on the subject. Previously, there were excuses that sanctions restrict expansion of trade and commercial ties but now that these are being lifted, all concerned Ministries in Pakistan should get in touch with their counterparts in Iran to explore ways and means to promote trade links for mutual benefit. For this purpose, preference should be given to develop and upgrade road and rail links with Iran on fast track basis and talks should be held on removal of overt or covert trade barriers.

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