Karachi: Consul General of the Islamic Republic of Iran in Karachi, Mehdi Subhani has asked the Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI) to organize a trade delegation’s visit to Iran in order to further strengthen trade ties between the two countries and seek new avenues of enhanced cooperation.
Speaking at a meeting during his visit to the Karachi Chamber, the envoy added that Iranian Consulate will be extending full support to the proposed visit of KCCI delegation to Iran. “This delegation should be composed in such a manner that it covers various sectors, particularly the leather, textile, dairy products and confectionary items etc. Pakistan can make substantial profit by exporting these products to Iran”, he added.
Commercial Counselor of Iranian Consulate, Satar Soltan Shahi, President KCCI, Iftikhar Ahmed Vohra, Vice President KCCI, Agha Shahab Ahmed Khan, Chairman of Diplomatic Missions and Embassies’ Liaison Sub-Committee KCCI, Muhammad Naeem Sharif and KCCI Managing Committee members were also present at the meeting.
Iranian Consul General, while discussing the Iran and Pakistan bilateral relations, said that the economic and trade relations between the two countries would further strengthen when next Joint Economic Commission meeting takes place in Islamabad.
He said that security, stability and prosperity of Pakistan and Iran are linked with each other as both countries share many similarities and possibilities. It is heartening to note that politicians of both countries have started displaying their willingness to expand ties in many fields which would help in boosting the existing relations between the two countries.
Iranian CG further noted that Pakistan offers immense investment opportunities to Iranian investors in various sectors, particularly the energy sector. “To help Pakistan resolve the ongoing energy crisis, we are ready to send gas to Pakistan by the end of this year, now it is up to Pakistan to decide whether they need Iranian gas or not”, he added.
Iran-Pakistan gas pipeline upon its completion will assist Pakistan in overcoming the energy crisis, trigger economic activities and generate massive employment opportunities all over the country, the Consul General opined.
Referring to President KCCI’s concerns over rising smuggling on Pakistan-Iran border, Iranian CG said that both sides must sit together and come up with a mechanism to effectively curb smuggling and other issues hindering bilateral trade.
Earlier, President KCCI, Iftikhar Ahmed Vohra, while warmly welcoming the Consul General of Iran, said that bilateral trade relations between Pakistan and Iran are cordial and healthy. However, due to sanctions on Iran, State Bank of Pakistan has restricted Pakistani banks from accepting L/Cs opened by Iranian banks. As a result, goods are being re-exported through Dubai which raises the cost of doing business for Pakistani traders, he noted, adding that this was the reason why Pakistani businessmen and industrialists were reluctant to do business with Iran.
He further pointed out that major bottlenecks in the expansion of Pak-Iran trade are frequent changes in import regime of Iran, high import tariffs applied on exportable items from Pakistan and indirect trade via Dubai.
President KCCI also expressed deep concern over rising smuggling on Pak-Iran border which has terribly affected Pakistan’s manufacturing sector as many production units are on the verge of collapse.
He was of the view that direct interaction between the business communities of both countries would enable them to better explore the opportunities for cooperation in various fields. In this regard, Pakistan can benefit from Iran’s expertise in petrochemical, oil and energy sectors while being an energy-starved country, Pakistan offers immense investment opportunities to Iranian investors in this important sector of economy.
He invited Iranian business community to participate in KCCI’s 12th My Karachi – Oasis of Harmony exhibition scheduled to be held from 10th to 12th April, 2015 in Karachi, which will provide a perfect platform for Iranian businesses to showcase their products and services and hold B2B meetings with local and international delegations. Around 1 million visitors are expected to participate in this mega event including entrepreneurs, leaders of business communities and international delegations from Asia, he added.