“However, due to the absence of a banking channel, trade activities have faced difficulties,” he said during his visit to the Korangi Association of Trade and Industry, The News reported.
KATI President Faraz-ur-Rehman, Deputy Patron-in-Chief Zubair Chhaya, Senior Vice President Nighat Awan, former presidents Farukh Mazhar, Shaikh Fazal-e-Jalil, and First Consul of Iran Masoud Kian Bakhsh, among others, participated in the event.
Iranian consul general further said that the visa policy has been relaxed and six new border markets have been established to promote trade with Pakistan.
“Progress is also being made in barter trade and in this regard, all the preparations are complete on Iran’s side, while on Pakistan's side, the Federal Board of Revenue is developing software that will make barter trade possible,” he added.
Nourian noted that there are friendly and brotherly relations between Pakistan and Iran, but unfortunately trade between the two countries has not developed as it should have. He said that all obstacles to the free trade agreement between the two countries have been removed, after which trade in 600 products would be possible between Iran and Pakistan.
He said that the trade delegation of Iran had a successful visit recently after which a memorandum of understanding was signed with the Trade Development Authority of Pakistan.
The Iranian CG said that under the agreement with Pakistan, the National Logistics Cell has been allowed to access the European market through Iran.
Earlier, KATI President Faraz-ur-Rehman said, “We are happy that several agreements have been concluded with the Iranian trade delegation. However, due to the global crisis, there has been a big difference in trade.”
Faraz-ur-Rehman said the absence of a banking channel was a major hurdle that needed to be solved urgently.
The KATI president said the shortage of petroleum products and gas in Pakistan could be met by Iran.
“There is a need to promote barter trade between the two countries,” he added.
Recently, Iran's Solo Exhibition increased awareness about Iranian products.
However, the KATI president said Iranian products were already being used frequently in other parts of the country, including Balochistan.
Pakistan is struggling with its worst economic crisis in decades, as its foreign exchange reserves are at their lowest in 10 years.
China and Iran have come forward to help the crisis-hit Pakistan to come out of the financial collapse, while the International Monetary Fund is delaying unlocking the next tranche of a $6.5 billion loan, Livemint reported.
The country has been modifying its policies according to the conditions laid down by IMF, in an effort to get funding. The Washington-headquartered financial body has suggested raising tax revenues and a fairer distribution of precious resources by taking subsidies away from people who don't need them.
Following this, the national assembly of Pakistan unanimously approved the government’s Finance (Supplementary) Bill 2023 or ‘mini-budget’, and increased taxes on luxury goods and services. The country has also raised the prices of fuel, and essential commodities, making it difficult for common people to fulfill their basic needs.
Amid this unstable economic situation, Iran is promoting trade with Pakistan, while China will grant a new $700 million loan to the country.
This week, Pakistan will receive a new $700 million loan from China to help shore up its foreign exchange reserves, the country's finance minister said on Wednesday, in another step to help the South Asian nation recover from an economic crisis, according to Reuters.
The credit facility, made through the state-owned China Development Bank will boost Pakistan's forex reserves by about 20% and comes as the country is thrashing out a deal with the International Monetary Fund to unlock funds from a $6.5 billion bailout.
China is already Pakistan's single largest creditor with its commercial banks holding about 30% of its external debt.
Uzbekistan also inked a $1 billion deal to increase bilateral trade with Pakistan at the eighth meeting of the Pakistan-Uzbekistan Inter-governmental Commission on Trade-Economic and Scientific-Technical Cooperation held in Tashkent on Friday.
Both countries have signed the agreement to encourage the exchange of goods and services, the Economic Affairs Department of Pakistan said in an official statement.
Any investment opportunity will come as a lifeline to Pakistan's economy.