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Pakistan and Iran Joint Economic Commission Trade and Transport Negotiations
10 Dec 2014
Monday 7th December 2014, at the 19th meeting of the Pakistan-Iran Joint Economic Commission (JEC) meeting in Islamabad, Pakistan once again voiced their desire to increase the volume of trade with Iran.
Pakistan’s Federal Minister for Finance, Senator Mohammad Ishaq Dar and the Iranian Minister for Economic Affairs & Finance, Dr. Ali Taieb Nia,
along with their delegates resolved to strengthen trade promotion.
Finance Minister Ishaq Dar said, “The top leadership of both the countries …have endeavored to materialize what our leadership feels. We will not only try to expand the existing trade, economic and bilateral ties in other areas but also make efforts to stabilize them.”
Pakistan and Iran have enjoyed historically strong ties and as a result, Pakistan’s Federal Finance Minister Ishaq Dar expressed kinship with Iran on the International stage – this would include the EU and the UN . He also expressed support for the wider international community to open trade with Iran “on humanitarian goods”, according to the Daily Times.
This, no doubt, was intended to signal directly to the UN + 1 group, who are still currently discussing Tehran’s position on nuclear development and associated sanctions against Iran. The sanctions have dramatically reduced Iran’s exports and imports in recent years and effected quality of life. Ishaq Dar said that: “At least export of food items” to Iran should continue until the expected relaxation of sanctions.
The Iranian Minister for Finance reciprocated the sentiments of his Pakistani counterpart and also expressed resolve to cooperate with Pakistan more across a range of sectors, namely: energy, freight transport, mining, agriculture, health and banking. Bilateral negotiations to develop these industry ties is to be under-pinned with a “comprehensive framework agreement”.
The technical trade development session included review of existing bilateral trade between Pakistan and Iran, together with proposals for boosting trade, and a review of tariff and non-tariff barriers which currently hinder stronger trade volume. So for instance, the ministers negotiated terms for opening of new bank branches, revitalizing the joint business council, visa facilitation for Pakistan’s business owners and lifting of the ban on exports of fruits from Pakistan.
The Pakistani Ministry of Finance announced to the press that the JEC would take on Iran’s banking problems issues, in view of sanctions restrictions. Of 12 MOUs (memorandum of understanding) under consideration, four were to be signed between the two countries during the current JEC. The White Rose Group will confirm details on this at the earliest opportunity.
Discussions progressed on Tuesday in relation to implementing the Iran-Pakistan gas pipeline project, electric energy exports from Iran, which could bring benefits for construction companies, such as the White Rose Group subsidiary. Significantly for logistics companies and construction companies in Iran there are also plans to up-grade transport links on the Quetta-Taftan railway infrastructure and the Noshki-Dalbandin section of the N-40 Highway.
Rail freight, trucking companies, construction and international project management companies looking to expand their businesses would do well to participate in business forums to raise their profile in order to maximise opportunities to participate in the trade possibilities ‘further down the road’.
On the second day of the JEC, The Iranian Minister for Economic Affairs and Finance, Dr Ali Taiebnia visited Prime Minster Nawaz Sharif’s home to cement the two day Pakistan-Iran bilateral negotiations and hold a press conference. Aside from the warmth expressed by both side over the two day meeting towards the other’s delegations and the negotiations generally, Sharif also expressly conveyed warm wishes to Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.
The White Rose Group has been regularly reporting on international trade negotiations with Iran and a number of regional partners. Since the imposition of EU and UN sanctions, a number of new trade opportunities are being opened up for Iranian businesses such as the White Rose Group to develop new ventures closer to home. If you are looking to increase imports and exports with Pakistan, or other regional partners, send us details of how we can help or any questions you may have.