All Pakistan Business Forum lauds removal of non-tariff trade barriers with Iran
As Pakistan and Iran have recently decided to remove the Non-Tariff barriers in bilateral trade and begin talks on a Free Trade Agreement (FTA), the ‘All Pakistan Business Forum’ (APBF) has expressed its appreciation for this valuable initiative. These deliberations are aimed at strengthening the business relations and optimize the trade potential between the two friendly countries, through facilitation at the borders.
Both the neighboring states have also agreed to work on issuing long-term multiple-entry visas to businessmen and increasing direct air flights to boost the trade prospects, especially encouraging the trade of perishable items.
Pakistan’s Minister of Commerce Engr. Khurram Dastgir Khan and Iranian Minister of Mining, Trade and Industry Engr. M Reza Nematzadeh held a meeting and addressed the trade and investment session of the “Pak-Iran Joint Business Forum”. The two ministers termed the signing of 5-year Strategic Trade Cooperation Plan (2016-2021) as the beginning of a new era, which provides a great opportunity for the two nations to enhance economic cooperation to new heights.
Khurram Dastgir stated that; The proposed measures also include; Beginning of negotiations on a Free Trade Agreement, holding of single country exhibitions in each other’s country, visits of delegations, regular meetings of committees for Joint Border Trade, reactivation of Joint Business Council, opening of additional international border crossing points and establishment of border markets. Various fresh avenues will be explored to enhance bilateral trade to $5 billion in five years.
Nematzadeh informed the audience that; “Iran will hold a trade and investment exhibition in Pakistan in September 2016. The private sector of both countries should take the lead in strengthening bilateral relations in all sectors, including; Agriculture, engineering and the minerals sectors that offer tremendous scope. Export of services such as transportation, financial, communication, insurance and IT also promise great mutual benefits. Iran desires to participate in the privatization programme of Pakistan by investing in the entities, where Iran can offer its special expertise.
Majority of the issues of the traders will be resolved with the implementation of TIR Convention, to which Pakistan has recently acceded. Iran has also offered facilitation in Pakistan’s transit trade, through Iran, to the Central Asian Republics and Russia, where the demand for Pakistani food and agricultural products is consistently increasing.
The President of APBF – Mr. Ibrahim Quraishi, welcomed the signing of MoU on Five-Year Strategic Trade Cooperation Plan between Pakistan and Iran, and stated that; “Despite huge trade potential, Pak-Iran bilateral trade has remained low, because the non-tariff barriers were quite high. Iran used to have heavy customs duty on products of Pakistan’s interest in textiles. The import processes were complicated, there was a lack of enabling infrastructure, like; poor rail, road, and air links. It is heartening to see a robust initiative with a progressive and friendly country like Iran. APBF is consistently striving to enhance Pakistan’s portfolio of exports.”
The All Pakistan Business Forum (APBF) is a vibrant business association which promotes and protects the interests of the business community and a wide range of industries in Pakistan. It also advises reforms to the Government sector, regarding policy formulation, regulatory realignments and implementation in the commercial and industrial sectors of the economy. Over the years, APBF has been consistently playing a positive role in elevating the standards and facilitation of business activity in Pakistan.