Economy, Domestic Economy

Pak MoU to Help Expand Border Trade

Pak MoU to Help Expand Border TradePak MoU to Help Expand Border Trade

A memorandum of understanding to facilitate border trade was signed between Iran’s Sistan-Baluchestan Province and Pakistan’s Balochistan Province at the conclusion of the third session of Iran-Pakistan Joint Committee for Border Trade in Zahedan on Thursday.

The MoU is focused on visa issuance for traders and drivers, road freight transport charges and customs affairs, IRNA reported.

As part of the MoU, the process of visa issuance for traders and truck drivers of both countries will be reduced to one day.

Moreover, Iran has suggested doubling the number of border trade points with Pakistan from five to ten. Director of Balochistan Customs Services Muhammad Saeed Khan Jadoon said Pakistan would study the proposal and announce its decision in the coming months.

Noting that after four years, railway services between Iran and Pakistan were reactivated two months ago, Jadoon said traders using railway facilities for freight transport can enjoy 50% discount.

Both sides also agreed on establishing a direct flight between Mashhad in Khorasan Razavi Province and Quetta in Pakistan’s Balochistan Province in the near future.

The two-day session of Iran-Pakistan Joint Committee for Border Trade opened on Wednesday in the southeastern Iranian city of Zahedan. A Pakistani delegation comprised of 11 Pakistani officials and businessmen attended and met with their Iranian counterparts.

As part of the meeting on Wednesday, head of the industries, mining and trade office of Sistan- Baluchestan Province, Nader Mirshekar emphasized on boosting trade between the two countries from about $1 billion last year to $5 billion in the future.

To this end, he suggested establishing trade fairs and exhibitions for Pakistani products in Zahedan. He also called for modernizing the customs affairs and using electronic trade to curb the level of informal trade between the two countries.

According to the Iran Customs Administration, Iran exported $945 million worth of goods to Pakistan in the last Iranian year (ended March 20), mostly construction material, tar, chemical and industrial products.

Imports from Pakistan amounted to $200 million during the period, including rice, wheat, auto parts and home appliances.