ISLAMABAD: Pakistan has shared the draft of proposals and recommendations of the five year strategic plan with Iran to enhance bilateral trade.
The main objective of the plan is to enhance bilateral trade between Pakistan and Iran to $5 billion. Presently, the volume of bilateral trade is $270 million and the balance of trade is in Iran’s favour as Iranian exports to Pakistan stand at $240 million whereas Pakistani exports to Iran stand only at $30 million
“The draft has been prepared by the Ministry of Commerce (MoC) in consultation with Pakistan Customs, Federal Board of Revenue (FBR), Finance Ministry and other stakeholders” a well-placed official source at Ministry of Commerce (MoC) told Customs Today.
The source said that both the countries decided to prepare the said draft in the 2nd Meeting of the Pakistan–Iran Joint Working Group/Technical Committee on Trade held in Islamabad in August last year.
Pakistan side was led by Additional Secretary, Robina Ather, while Iranian delegation was headed by, Director General (Asia-Pacific) Iranian Trade Promotion Organization (ITPO) Mojtaba Mousavian.
In the forwarded draft of five year strategic plan, Pakistan has urged Iranian side to make preparations for the establishment banking linkages between both the countries. In this regard, MoC will also hold a meeting with the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) next week.
Moreover, the source said that there was a proposal to allow the communities residing in the border areas to trade on barter system. In this regard, Pakistani traders, especially from Balochistan will be asked to get their receivables be cleared by exchanging commodities and trade items.
For this purpose a delegation of traders from Balochistan’s bordering areas with Iran also held a meeting with Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif in recent days” the source said adding that MoC was vigorously pursuing this issue by taking up with relevant quarters.
The source added that in the last year’s meeting of Pakistan–Iran Joint Working Group/Technical Committee on Trade, both the countries agreed to explore opportunities in joint ventures and linked trade preferences amongst the businessmen of both sides.