Economy, Domestic Economy

Pakistan Devising New Plan for Iran Trade

Pakistan Devising New Plan for Iran TradePakistan Devising New Plan for Iran Trade

Pakistan is framing a five-year trade and investment plan with Iran under the new scenario where the Islamic Republic has struck a nuclear deal with major world powers and is foreseeing the lifting of economic sanctions on exports of crude oil imposed almost a decade ago.

A two-member Iranian trade delegation has arrived in Islamabad on a two-day official visit to discuss trade expansion possibilities and opportunities, The Tribune Express reported on Wednesday.

“Pakistan is framing this comprehensive five-year trade plan with Iran to explore and tap the potential between the two countries,” said Ministry of Commerce Additional Secretary on Trade and Diplomacy Robbina Akhter.

 “We have included trade facilitation, expansion of PTA, holding of exhibitions of commodities and expansion of business cooperation on the agenda,” she added.

Earlier, on Monday, a meeting was held in the Pakistani Ministry of Commerce to devise a strategy to actively engage with Iran.

It was informed in the meeting that during the past 10 years, 63% of Pakistan’s exports to Iran comprised rice and fruits; meat constituted the major part of the remaining 37%.

The meeting also deliberated upon measures to enhance rice exports to Iran which is among world’s largest importers of rice.

Pakistan’s Federal Board of Revenue was urged to clamp down stringent measures at border crossing points with Iran to curb smuggling as it costs the country’s exchequer a huge amount of revenues.

The meeting also decided to negotiate further “the high tariffs imposed by Iran despite a PTA in place since September 1, 2006,” as reported by the Pkaistani newspaper.

Under the PTA, Pakistan has granted tariff concessions to Iran on 309 tariff lines while Iran has granted tariff concessions to Pakistan on 338. Pakistan’s major sectors covered under the PTA are rice, fruits, cotton, cotton yarn, pharmaceutical products and cutlery. Pakistan exported $43 million worth of items to Iran in 2014 while it imported $186 million worth of items.