APP48-22 TEHRAN: April 22 - Prime Minister Imran Khan addressing the business community of Iran and Pakistan at Iran-Pakistan Business Meeting Forum. APP

TEHRAN, Apr 22 (APP)::Prime Minister Imran Khan on Monday said that Pakistan would do everything to promote its bilateral ties and trade with Iran.

“In fact trade strengthens ties. The more trade you have with each other, your ties automatically get stronger,” the prime minister remarked addressing the Pak-Iran Business Forum here during his two-day official visit to Iran, at the invitation of Iranian President Dr Hassan Rouhani.

He said the European nations had killed their million of civilians in the Second World War, but later they had forged strong trade partnership. So there was no question of them having bad relations because their interests were tied together, he added.

The prime minister said it was time that both Pakistan and Iran should work out ways and means to enhance their bilateral trade to exploit the existing potential.

He said the countries, which had been doing well in the economic sector like China, South East Asia and ASEAN nations, had a higher proportion of bilateral trade with their neighbouring countries.But unfortunately, Pakistan, Iran, India and Afghanistan had a very low proportion of bilateral trade with the neighboring countries, he added.

He said Iran being a nation of 80 million people and Pakistan with 210 million population should had been big economies but due to variety of reasons the two countries were unable to exploit the trade potential.

Irrespective of the fact that Iran had been facing sanctions and Pakistan was also going through difficult period, the two countries should start developing bilateral trade, he added.
He told the business community that only 10 percent of rice was exported directly from Pakistan and the rest was done indirectly.

He said given the prevailing situation, both the countries should start mulling to work out ways and means to enhance the bilateral trade.

The prime minister also shared his experience of visiting the shrine of Hazrat Imam Raza (AS) in Mashhad on Sunday.

Later, he along with his economic team responded to the questions from the audience.