The Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI) on Thursday said to facilitate trade with Iran the State Bank of Pakistan will select some local banks within days. Opening up of the banking channel with Iran will boost bilateral trade by one hundred percent within one year, said Zubair Tufail, President FPCCI. Talking to Iranian ambassador Mahdi Honar Doust, he said that we are pinning high hopes to the second round of FTA talks with Iran scheduled in July.
He said that despite many commonalities the volume of bilateral trade is unsatisfactory but resumption of the banking channels will boost trade to five billion dollars per annum as desired by the Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif while meeting Iranian foreign minister.
Zubair Tufail said that business can bring people of both countries together and that Iran can become a major exporter of petroleum products to Pakistan. The FPCCI president said that Pakistan can import quality pharmaceuticals and steel from Iran while export rice, meat, mutton, fruits and vegetables while chances of barter trade can also be explored. A delegation of FPCCI will visit Tehran soon to explore business opportunities and that both the governments should take steps to make business easy, he said.
Zubair Tufail also called for improved air links as many Pakistani businessmen go to Iran through Dubai. At the occasion, Iranian ambassador Mahdi Honar Doust said that trade between Iran and Afghanistan was three times greater than Pak-Iran trade while now it is double that Pak-Iran bilateral trade. He said that we want to improve trade relations and a monthly meeting will be held between representatives of FPCCI and the embassy officials to find ways and means to improve the trade and overcome hurdles.