Pakistan and Iran agree to increase the bilateral trade to $5bn: Dawood

TEHRAN: Pakistan and Iran have resolved to raise the volume of bilateral trade between the two countries to the $5 billion mark.
This was agreed upon on Saturday during a meeting between Advisor to the PM on Commerce and Investment Abdul Razak Dawood and Iranian Minister for Industry, Mining and Trade Syed Reza Fatimi Amin in Tehran before the meeting of the 9th Joint Trade Committee (JTC).
According to a statement, Abdul Razak Dawood said that it is important to make the trade and investment relations more broad based. On the occasion, the Iranian minister invited Pakistani companies to invest in Iran.
They discussed matters relating to trade and investment between the two countries and resolved to translate the decisions of 9th JTC into positive and tangible outcomes.
Separately, Pakistan and Iran have agreed to revive talks on a free trade agreement (FTA). The decision was taken during the 9th joint trade committee meeting between the two sides in Tehran on Saturday, co-chaired by Abdul Razak Dawood and Reza Fatemi Amin.
The two countries had finalised the draft of the FTA in December 2017 after several rounds of talks but reinstatement of sanctions on Iran by the former US administration in May 2018 saw the agreement being put on the backburner.
Fatemi Amin said the two sides agreed to make concerted efforts in the next three months to “remove obstacles in trade”, in a suggestion that the FTA will be put into effect.
Dawood, on his part, said Pakistan is eager to see progress and promotion of trade relations with Iran, especially in “shipment of goods, bartering commodities, reduction of tariffs, and creation of border markets.”
During the meeting on Saturday, the two sides also discussed barter trade, transportation, border markets, exhibitions, and private sector investments.
Bilateral trade between Tehran and Islamabad has come down from $1.5 billion before the pandemic to less than $1 billion. The two countries had signed a Preferential Trade Agreement (PTA) in 2006, which experts say failed to push the trade balance beyond $1.5 billion, with US sanctions playing spoilsport. – TLTP

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