ISLAMABAD: Mr. Mehdi Honardoost, Ambassador of Iran said that if Pakistan sign agreement, Iran was ready to supply 1000-3000MW electricity to Pakistan.  He said Iran’s gas pipeline (IP) project could address energy issues of Pakistan and bring many benefits to its economy by providing cheap power supply. He said Iran has spent millions of dollars to bring gas pipeline up to the border of Pakistan, but there was no progress on Pakistan’s side. He was addressing business community during his visit to Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

Iranian Envoy said though Pak-Iran trade has improved to US$1.2 billion in 2017, however, it was not reflective of the true potential of both countries.

About banking channels, he said it involved some technical discussions, however the ball was now in Pakistan’s court as Iran was ready to enter into any workable arrangement with Pakistan to facilitate the private sectors of both countries in banking transactions for bilateral trade.

Speaking at the occasion, Sheikh Amir Waheed, President, Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry said that Pak-Iran bilateral trade has been showing an inconsistent pattern and both countries should facilitate private sectors in trade promotion efforts.

He said despite signing preferential trade agreement with Pakistan, Iran was maintaining high tariffs on many exportable products of Pakistan ranging from 90% to 200%, which was a serious hurdle in promoting trade with it.

He urged that Iran should reduce its high tariffs on Pakistani products that would help in improving trade figure. He said frequent exchange of trade delegations and participating in exhibitions of each other country would greatly help in strengthening trade relations.

Muhammad Naveed Senior Vice President and Nisar Mirza Vice President ICCI said that establishing border markets and openingadditional crossing points on border would help in improving trade and both countries should take practical measures for this purpose. Mian Akram Farid, Mian Shaukat Masud, Noor Ahmed Khan, and others also spoke at the occasion and gave many suggestions to further enhance Pak-Iran trade and economic relations.