Time is ripe to strengthen Iran-Pakistan economic relations

Islamabad, March 9, IRNA - Iran and Pakistan both are intermingled in historic, cultural and religious bonds and time is ripe to strengthen economic relations.

Experts stress the need to give highest priority to bilateral trade, saying that the private sector of both countries should move forward to promote business and trade relations.
Trade and economic relations between Iran and Pakistan are based on diverse axes such as energy, infrastructural cooperation, financial assistance and commercial exchanges.
Iran and Pakistan have already agreed to enhance the bilateral trade volume to $5 billion in the next five years.
During the last 10 months of Iranian calendar year, the Islamic Republic exported products worth $726 million to Pakistan while Pakistan also exported products worth $360 million to Iran putting the overall bilateral trade at $1.086 billion.
The export items of Iran comprise articles such as iron ore, iron scrap, dates, detergents, transformers, chemicals, bitumen, polyethylene, propylene etc, while export items of Pakistan include rice, fresh fruits, meat, cloth and mechanical machinery.
The Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif is scheduled to pay an official visit to Pakistan from March 11 with an objective to enhance economic cooperation with Pakistan.
The visit will provide an opportunity to explore ways and means to further strengthen cooperation between Iran and Pakistan in diverse areas of mutual interest, particularly expanding bilateral trade.
Cooperation between Iran and Pakistan in the energy sector comprises two spheres, namely gas and electricity.
Iran and Pakistan have signed a gas pipeline project. Iran has already built the pipeline up to the Pakistan-Iran border and now it is time for Pakistan to complete its side of the agreement. The 2,775 kilometer project will deliver natural gas from Iran to Pakistan, and could play an influential role in improving the country’s economy.
Iran is also willing to join the China Pakistan Economic Corridor as well as wants Pakistan to honour international commitments with regard to the Pak-Iran gas pipeline project.
Earlier Ambassador of Iran to Pakistan Mehdi Honardoost had said his is country is ready to increase electricity supply to Pakistan from the existing 100 megawatts upto 3,000 megawatts.
Iran and Pakistan are also developing two major ports in respective countries, Gwadar Port and Chabahar Port. Experts say that both ports are complementary to each other and would be beneficial to both countries.
Strong trade and business ties with Iran will not only help Pakistan’s economic situation, but will also lead to greater stability and economic prosperity in the region.
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