Economy, Domestic Economy

Pakistan Envoy Calls for Enhancing Economic, Trade Cooperation

Pakistan Envoy Calls for Enhancing Economic, Trade CooperationPakistan Envoy Calls for Enhancing Economic, Trade Cooperation

The sanctions imposed by the West on Iran’s economy as well as lack of a proper banking system between Iran and Pakistan have caused the annual trade exchange between the two countries to reduce by nearly $700 million, IRNA quoted Pakistan’s ambassador to Tehran, Noor Mohammad Jadmani, as saying on Sunday.

“The annual trade turnover between the two countries currently stands at $300 million. The figure used to be $1 billion,” the ambassador said, while on a two-day visit to Iran’s central Yazd Province, adding that his visit is aimed at bolstering economic ties between Tehran and Islamabad.

Accompanied by a number of Pakistani officials in Yazd, the ambassador visited several factories and held talks with local industrialists, merchants and provincial officials.

“Both Iranian and Pakistani governments are stressing the need for strengthening ties with neighboring counties and contributing to regional security and stability,” the Pakistani envoy said in a meeting with the governor general of Yazd province and the provincial officials.

He described the Pakistani prime minister’s last year visit to Iran as positive, adding that the visit was followed by a number of official exchanges between the two countries.

Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif paid an official two-day visit to Iran back in May. His visit to Tehran was his first since the formation of new governments in the two neighboring countries.

“The two countries seek to replace the US dollar with their own national currencies in bilateral trade,” Noor Mohammad Jadmani added.

  Yazd Major Tile Exporter

The Pakistani ambassador said the majority of Pakistan’s imports of tiles and ceramics come from Yazd, to the extent where it has affected the domestic manufacturing of the product in Pakistan.

“Yazd has huge potential in tiles and ceramics industry, which can be a proper area of cooperation between the two countries,” he said, during a visit to a tile manufacturing unit in the city of Meybod in Yazd province.

He said Iran and Pakistan are determined to increase their annual trade turnover to more than $5 billion, adding: “We hope Tehran-Islamabad’s close political relations can encourage the private sectors of the two countries to expand their ties too.”

Meybod is a major desert city in Yazd province, and with a population of about 90,000 it is the second major city in Yazd.

There are currently over 40 tiles and ceramics manufacturing units in the city of Meybod, producing more than 7,000 square meters of different types of products, which are exported to countries as far as Pakistan, Iraq, Azerbaijan and etc.  

  Trade Potential

With a population of more than 180 million people, Pakistan is the world’s sixth most populous country. It is bordered by India to the east, Afghanistan to the west, Iran to the southwest and China to the far northeast.

A 2013 report by the World Bank placed Pakistan’s economy at 24th largest in the world by purchasing power and 45th in absolute dollars. It is South Asia’s second largest economy, representing about 15 percent of regional GDP.

The structure of the Pakistani economy has changed from a mainly agricultural to a strong service base. Agriculture as of 2010 accounts for only 21.2% of the GDP. Even so, according to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization, Pakistan produced 21,591,400 metric tons of wheat in 2005, more than all of Africa. Pakistan’s major industries include clothing and textiles (accounting for nearly 60% of exports), food processing, chemicals, iron and steel.

Iran and Pakistan annual trade has risen since 2004, with Iran drastically increasing its exports to Pakistan since 2009.  Nuts, leather, pistachio, bitumen and oil are the major commodities that Iran exports to Pakistan, while Pakistan’s main exports to Iran include commodities such as rice, potato, orange, and fabric.