MNA – Ambassador of the Islamic Republic of Iran to Pakistan Mehdi Honardoost has said that a currency swap deal and resumption of banking channels between Iran and Pakistan is under process.
Speaking at Lahore Chamber of Commerce, Industries and Mines, the Iranian envoy to Pakistan said that bilateral trade between the two countries would be promoted and Iranian banks will inaugurate branches in Pakistan once the currency swap agreement is inked.
Last year the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) and Central Bank of Iran (CBI) reached an agreement on banking and payment system, as the two countries seek to raise the volume of bilateral trade to $5 billion.
Mehdi Honardoost expressing his views said Iran and Pakistan have multi-functional and multi-aspect relations. “Both countries should adopt a new approach and move forward. Though trade between the two countries is growing, it is below the potential.
“Business organizations of both countries should be given wake-up calls so that they can play their due role for strengthening trade and economic ties. Iranian Embassy and Consulate are always open for Pakistan’s business community.”
He went on to say that Iranian Free Trade Zones have great potential for Pakistani businessmen and they should avail this opportunity through joint ventures.
The ambassador added that the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor is a big achievement that would help reduce tensions in the region, adding that Iran wants to be a part of this project as it provides opportunities and offers regional cooperation.
For his part, The LCCI President Malik Tahir Javaid applauded the efforts of Iranian Ambassador for initiating direct flights from Lahore, Karachi and Islamabad to Tehran and Mashhad. He urged the Iranian Ambassador to bring forward the telecommunication companies from Iran since the talk time from Pakistan with Iran cost almost 3 times as compared to other countries.
In conclusion, he said that both Pakistan and Iran have well-developed seaports. There should be sufficient arrangements for direct shipping through Karachi and upcoming Gwadar Port with Chabahar and Bandar Abbas Port.