Domestic Economy

New Border Market to Augment Trade Exchanges With Pakistan

New Border Market to Improve  Trade Exchanges With Pakistan
New Border Market to Improve  Trade Exchanges With Pakistan

After Iran and Pakistan inaugurated the first border market and electricity transmission lines, the Pakistan Industrial and Traders Associations Front (PIAF) said the Mand-Pishin border marketplace and the Gabd-Polan electricity project would serve as a stepping stone for greater economic cooperation between the two countries.
The trade body expressed hope that it would unleash development, business and employment opportunities, and contribute to the prosperity of the people of Gwadar and Balochistan, The Nation reported.
Stressing the need for enhancing regional trade to ease the current economic crisis, PIAF Chairman Faheemur Rehman Saigol said the project had been pending since 2009 and was completed in a record time of four months. 
The Mand-Pishin border market is expected to increase trade with Iran, helping local businesses find new opportunities. This is one of the six border markets that will be constructed along the Iranian border. 
Saigol said the marketplace, located in the remote village of Balochistan, is the first of six to be constructed along the Pakistan-Iran border under a 2012 agreement signed by the two sides.
He also called for the early implementation of barter trade mechanism signed between Pakistan and Iran during the Joint Trade Committee meeting held in Tehran to boost bilateral trade to $5 billion annually. 
Related departments, particularly the central bank, instead of creating obstacles, should start promoting barter trade through approved crossing points without any further delay, removing all bottlenecks for the smooth trade.
The PIAF chief urged Islamabad and Tehran to take serious initiatives to remove hurdles to bilateral trade, asking Iran to also take advantage of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor projects. In order to meet the objectives of barter trade mechanism, both parties must finalize international mechanism to remove difficulties in barter trade. He said barter trade was in fact a right decision, which could boost Pakistan’s foreign exchange reserves through escalation in exports.
Saigol said that due to a lack of banking channels with Iran, trading with Tehran was problematic. 
The barter trade issue with Iran has now been resolved, which is a welcome step for both Muslim neighboring nations. 
“The governments of Pakistan and Iran had decided that a barter trade mechanism will be established, identifying over 50 items for bilateral trade with rice and petroleum products at the top of the list,” he said. Saigol said barter trade could be undertaken via land route through legal customs border crossing points without any monetary transaction under the barter trade arrangement, adding that Pakistan can import liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) from Iran in exchange for rice under a barter arrangement endorsed by the two countries. 
“We will export rice to Iran and import LPG from there, as it is purely a barter deal,” he said.
It is pertinent to mention that Iran faces sanctions imposed by the United States, making it difficult for global and regional countries to broaden and deepen trade ties with the administration in Tehran. 
Saigol noted that the country’s exports had increased, adding that more growth could still be achieved by adopting product and geographical diversification.

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