Iran, Pakistan can emerge as strong economic partners: Iranian Foreign Minister

KARACHI, Mar 13 (APP):Iran and Pakistan have deep religious and cultural ties which should be transformed into strong economic cooperation to the benefit of the two nations.
‘Pakistan has emotional attachment to every citizen of Iran,’ reaffirmed
Iranian Foreign Minister Dr Mohammad Jawad Zarif while addressing business community of Karachi here on Tuesday.
As a part of celebrations of seventy years of Iran and Pakistan
diplomatic ties, the event was hosted by the Iran-Pakistan Business Forum, which has been working to bring the two business communities closer to promote bilateral trade and investment.
Iranian Foreign Minister is on a three-day official visit to Pakistan
and heading a high profile business delegation. Ambassador of Iran to Pakistan Mehdi Honardoost and Consul General of Iran to Karachi Ahmed Mohammadi, accompanied the Iranian delegation.
Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah and Sindh Minister for
Information and Transport Syed Nasir Hussain Shah were also present.
The prominent businessmen were Federation of Pakistan Chamber of
Commerce and Industry’s Senior Vice President Syed Mazhar Ali Nasir, Vice Presidents Tariq Haleem and Waheed Ahmed, Senior Vice President of Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry Abdul Basit Haji Abdul Razzaq, Dr Mirza Ikhtiar Baig, Gulzar Feroz, S.Khalid Tawab.
Iranian Foreign Minister recalled that Iran was the first country who
recognized Pakistan as an independent country.
He said that there existed huge potential of trade and investment on
both the sides, which needed to be efficiently exploited. For this, increased interaction at the governments’ and private sectors’ levels was required. Besides, he continued, both the governments would have to sit together for removal of tariff and non-tariff barriers, simplification of the Customs procedures and establishing banking channel, earliest execution of Iran-Pakistan Gas Pipeline, signing of Free Trade Agreement.
He said that Iran was ready to help Pakistan meet its electricity demand
to a great extent.
‘Iran can be a reliable source for Pakistan to get gas and electricity.
We are very much capable to produce as much electricity as Pakistan wants,’ he reaffirmed.
Dr Zarif said that both the countries could partner in many sectors
like energy, science and technology , infrastructure, chemicals and human resources development.
He said that today’s event, especially B2B meetings, would help promote
bilateral trade and find investment avenues on both the sides.
The Iranian Foreign Minister said that he had visited Karachi many times
and it was honour for him to be here among the business community and political figures.
A presentation was given by a member of Iranian business delegation to
highlight the economic potential of Iran and the opportunities for joint ventures with other countries.
Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah invited Iranian businessmen to
invest in Sindh; especially in Thar coal projects, wind and solar energy sector and infrastructure.
FPCCI Senior Vice President Syed Mazhar Ali Nasir maintained that both
the countries were not fully aware of each other’s economic potential, which called for enhanced exchange of information and trade delegations.
He said that there was need for holding Single Country exhibitions on
each other’s land.
He informed that Pakistan was going to hold its Single Country
exhibition in Tehran in May or June this year.
He regretted that Pakistan and Iran had strong air, land and sea
linkages but none was being efficiently utilized to promote bilateral trade and investment.