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Tehran, Islamabad Improving Banking Channels

Tehran, Islamabad Improving Banking ChannelsTehran, Islamabad Improving Banking Channels

Enhanced connectivity and banking channels between Iran and Pakistan are imperative to fully exploit the post-sanctions' opportunities and negotiations in this regard are at an advanced stage and positive news is expected within a month, said Pakistan's ambassador in Tehran.

Addressing the business community in Faisalabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Asif Khan Durrani added that Iran and Pakistan are brotherly neighboring countries.

"Both are enjoying good diplomatic relations but due to different reasons we could not fully exploit the economic potential," he was quoted as saying by Pakistantribe.com.

"Iran has surplus energy while Pakistan is an energy-starved country. Similarly, Iran is facing food shortage while Pakistan can export rice and other food commodities."

Commenting on the lack of banking channels, Durrani said it is a major obstacle to the promotion of trade between the two countries.

"Being neighboring countries, we are always involved in cross-border trade but it was through informal channels," he said.

The Pakistani ambassador said the two countries are focusing on promotion of formal trade and hopefully a positive breakthrough is expected very soon.

"The State Bank of Pakistan has allowed commercial banks to open their branches in Iran, but they are reluctant to do business in dollars with Iran. Pakistan and Iran trade could transact their business deals in euro or Chinese yuan as an alternate currency," he said.

Durrani further said Trade Development Authority of Pakistan is organizing “Aali Shaan” Pakistan Exhibition in Tehran from March 4 to7, 2017, which is aimed at playing a major role in opening new avenues of bilateral trade.

Earlier in his address of welcome, acting president Rana Sikandar Azam said Iran is a neighbor and brotherly Islamic country. He said that after the lifting of sanctions, Iran is making serious efforts to promote its trade and Pakistan being its neighbor will definitely be its first choice.

Azam noted that Pakistan and Iran have agreed to increase bilateral trade to $5 billion in the next five years and in this connection commerce minister, Khurram Dastghir, will visit Tehran on December 28-29.

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