TEHRAN - Iran Chamber of Commerce, Industries, Mines and Agriculture (ICCIMA) and Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industries (FPCCI) have signed three memorandums of understanding (MOU) with the aim of expanding economic cooperation between the private sectors of the two countries.

The MOUs were signed during a visit of an Iranian private sector delegation headed by ICCIMA Head Gholam-Hossein Shafeie to the Pakistani cities of Karachi and Lahore, the ICCIMA portal reported.

Based on the signed memorandums, the two sides agreed to strengthen comprehensive cooperation between the private sectors of the two countries, to establish a joint trade council of Iran and Pakistan, and to determine a mechanism to resolve trade disputes.

Accordingly, the Iran-Pakistan Joint Trade Council will work together with the Iran-Pakistan Joint Chamber of Commerce to strengthen economic relations between the two neighbors.

ICCIMA and FPCCI will also resolve the trade disputes between businessmen and traders through a channel separated from the two countries’ legal systems.

Tehran, Islamabad discuss barter trade mechanism

During their visit to Pakistan, the Iranian delegates attended a meeting with officials from the State Bank of Pakistan (the country’s central bank) in which the two sides discussed details of a barter trade mechanism between the two countries.

The Zahedan Chamber of Commerce from Iran and the Quetta Chamber of Commerce and Industries (QCCI) from Pakistan have been put in charge as coordinators for implementing and pursuing the barter trade mechanism between the two sides.

As reported, at the end of the meeting the two sides agreed to form a 10-member committee to work on the details of the mechanism and follow up on the related issues in the future.

Solving currency and customs issues for the easy passage of transit trucks and accelerating the implementation of the free trade agreement between Iran and Pakistan, along with using Iran's membership status in the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) and the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), were also among the issues that were discussed in this meeting.

Details of the barter trade mechanism were also discussed in another meeting with the members of the Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industries (KCCI) on Thursday.

Speaking in this meeting, KCCI Head Mohammad Tariq Yousuf mentioned the unsatisfactory level of trade between the two countries and noted that the barter trade agreement would open new windows for the expansion of trade ties between the two sides.

Shafeie for his part mentioned Karachi as the economic capital of Pakistan, saying that despite the significant capacities on both sides, the level of commercial relations between the two countries is still very limited.

During their stay in Pakistan, the 26-member Iranian delegation, comprised of the head of the Iran-Pakistan Joint Chamber of commerce, the heads of the three provincial chambers of Isfahan, Zanjan, and Zahedan, the secretary general of the ECO chamber of commerce, and four MPs, visited the cities of Karachi and Lahore.

Promoting bilateral trade to five billion dollars is said to be among the main objectives of this visit.