Saturday, January 23, 2010


“Non-existence of Banking System between Pakistan & Iran is the major impediment in the progress of bilateral trade”, expressed by President, Karachi Chamber of Commerce & Industry in a meeting held with the 25 members Iranian delegation representing the Commerce Organization of Mashad, Khorsan Razavi Province, Iran. Abdul Majid focused that the Pak-Iran relationship is deep rooted and the bilateral trade potential is about 1 billion dollars which is yet to be achieved due to certain barriers out of which lack of banking system is the core obstacle. He asserted on the need of Iranian Bank Branch in Pakistan and Pakistani Bank Branch in Iran to strengthen the trade ties. Abdul Majid informed that the KCCI has taken up the said issue of establishing Banking channel between Pakistan & Iran with Prime Minister of Pakistan, Federal Minister of Finance & Governor of SBP. Abdul Majid also asserted on the need of developing the train-logistic service from Pakistan to Iran and Turkey under the ECO forum.

The President KCCI, earlier, warmly welcomed the Iranian Commercial Counsellor & 25 members trade delegation from Iran and gave them a categorical enlightenment on the Trade prevalent between the two friendly nations. He said that the present trade volume which is less than 1 billion USD is not at all satisfactory, we had a lot of potential and untapped sectors of trade which if pursued the trade volume might shoot up to the great extent, he added. He termed lack of interest, Banking & remittances problem, and Shipping and land transportation related problems being the chief factors attributed for the low trade volume. He drew the attention of Iranian Commercial Counsellor & trade delegation towards resolution of said factors for enhanced trade benefiting the common man of two brotherly nations. In order to boost up the representation of Iranian products in Pakistan, he extended invitation to Iranian Companies for Exhibition of Iranian products in KCCI’s “My Karachi Exhibition” to be held in June 2010.

Chairman, Businessmen Group, Siraj Kassam Teli, speaking at the occasion, highlighted that to strengthen the bilateral relations, trade plays imperative role and therefore it should be explored. He on behalf of Business Community ensure entire cooperation in this regards.

Advisor to Chief Minister Sindh on Investment & former President-KCCI, Muhammad Zubair Motiwala, while addressing the Iranian Delegation, enlightened them about the profuse trade and investment opportunities available in Sindh Province. He informed about the investment potential of Thar Coal Resources in Sindh which is larger than the Oil Reserves of Saudi Arabia & Iran in terms of its volume. He also informed about the establishment of Pak-Japan Economic Cooperation Zone in the vicinity of Karachi and offered that a Pak-Iran Economic Zone may be established if the Iranian counterparts express their keen interest. Being the Chairman of Board of Investment of Sindh, he also ensure his best cooperation and support to the interested Iranian investors for investment in Sindh province.

Commercial Counsellor of Iran, Ahmad Fasihi, while speaking on the occasion, expressed hope that with the removal of existing hurdles in the way of trade, and establishing a banking channel between two countries, the trade volume in the current year would reach over one billion dollars. He said that last year Pakistan's export to Iran increased by 80 percent as compared to previous year, and touched 279 million dollars. Likewise, Iran's exports to Pakistan increased by 11 percent to 278 million dollars. He said that despite a high potential level, the volume of bilateral trade of the two countries is about 560 million dollars (excluding oil) which is insufficient in view of existing trade potential.

The leader of Iranian trade delegation from Khorasan Razavi Province and Vice President, Commerce Organization of Mashad, M H Kamranfar, has emphasised the need for establishing banking channel for enhancing two-way trade. Speaking at the meeting, he said that both countries have lot of potential to boost two-way trade. However, the trade relations were not reflective of the true potential and to explore the existing potential exchange of trade delegation, person to person. He said that the purpose of the visit by the delegation was to develop person to person contact with Pakistani counterparts to improve trade and economic ties.

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