Businessmen invited to Aleeshan Pakistan expo in Tehran
Pakistan Ambassador to Iran Asif Khan Durrani has invited the Pakistani businessmen to participate in the exhibition “Aleeshan Pakistan” being held from March 4 to 7 in Tehran. He was talking to the LCCI President Abdul Basit here at the Lahore Chamber of Commerce & Industry. Former LCCI Presidents Ijaz Butt, Mohsin Raza Bukhari, Sohail Lashari, Executive Committee Members Mian Muhammad Nawaz and Ali Hassam Asghar also spoke on the occasion.
The Ambassador said that participation in “Aleeshan Pakistan” would provide Pakistani businessmen an opportunity to establish new contacts with their Iranian counterparts that are essential to boost two-way trade. He said that through exploiting the trade & investment opportunities, mutual trade volume could easily touch the new heights. Iranian president and Prime Minister of Pakistan had already agreed to boost trade to $ 5 billion.
He said that there is a tremendous scope for strengthening the trade & economic ties as both countries are big markets with joint population of 280 million people. He said that that unavailability of banking channel is one of the biggest reasons of limited trade between the two countries.
He said that a lot of work on Pak-Iran Gas Pipeline project has already been done. After completion of this project enough gas would be available to cater Pakistani needs. While inviting the delegation of Pakistan businessmen to Iran, the Ambassador said that Pakistani Embassy in Iran would provide maximum support and facilities to the delegation members.
The LCCI President Abdul Basit said that mutual trade is at the lowest level of the decade. During the year 2015 Pakistani imports and exporters from and to Iran were $ 261 million and 32 million respectively. He said that these statistics does not match the existing potential therefore both countries should focus this particular issue. He said that mutual trade could easily increase to $ 1 billion. He said that banking channels between Pakistan and Iran should be started immediately to overcome the smuggling issues faced by both the countries.
He said that China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) is a huge opportunity for the both countries. He said that Iranian Ambassador to Pakistan has already said that Iran wants to be part of this project.
Former LCCI President Ijaz Butt urged the private sectors of the two countries to enhance cooperation in Defence sector through joint ventures.
Former President Syed Mohsin Raza Bukhari said that those issues should be tackled on priority that are hampering the trade. He said that Pak-Iran Gas Pipeline Project should be completed at any cost as it would help Pakistan to get rid of the energy crisis.
Former LCCI President Engineer Sohail Lashari said that balance of trade is not only low but is also heavily in the favour of Iran. There must be win-win situation for the both countries. He said that private sector should be given representation in the government delegations. He also called for the provision of basic facilities at the crossing points.