Commerce minister to visit Iran soon to discuss FTA

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ISLAMABAD, Dec 27 (APP): Minister of Commerce Khurram
Dastgir has said that he would pay a two-day visit to Iran on from december 28-29 and discuss Free Trade Agreement (FTA) and resumption
of banking channels between the two brotherly countries.
In an exclusive interview with Radio Tehran, minister hoped
that the two countries would be able to sign FTA by the end of
2017 which is aimed to expand the bilateral trade.
He said that Iran visit is a follow up on the valuable visit
by Iran President Hassan Rouhani to Pakistan earlier this year.
“We are very much looking forward to progress on the five
year economic engagement plan that was signed during that visit,”
he said.
Dastgir said that there has already been good progress on
one part of the plan and offer by Pakistan to have Free Trade
Agreement (FTA) has been accepted by Iran. “we have already
exchanged drafts of the agreement”, he added.
The minister said that Iran and Pakistan have already held
their first negotiations on FTA and there is great positivity on
both sides to conclude it ideally by the end of 2017.
Dastgir Khan ensured that any outstanding issues in the
signing of FTA would be resolved quickly.
He added that during his visit to Iran, he will also be
discussing on the prospects of broader energy ties with Iran,
particularly in reference to the electricity that Pakistan is
buying from Iran for the port of Gwadar.
He said the current status of Iran-Pakistan (IP) gas
pipeline would also be on the agenda of his upcoming visit to
Tehran.
Dastgir Khan also reiterated that Iran and Pakistan are very
near to resolve the banking problem between the two countries.
Minister noted that there is already lot of trade that both
sides are not capturing in statistics so by bringing down tariffs
`we want to encourage people to do formal trade.’