Pakistani economist sees big trade boost with Iran

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ISLAMABAD, Sep 24 (APP):Former Governor State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) and former caretaker finance minister Dr Shamshad Akhtar said there is phenomenal scope of economic cooperation between Iran and Pakistan.
In an interview with IRNA on Monday, she said Iran and Pakistan are long standing friends and trusted partners in development. “I think Iran and Pakistan should exploit the regional corridors in an effective manner”, the former caretaker finance minister viewed.
Dr Shamshad Akhtar, the Ex-Executive Secretary of United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and Pacific added Iran and Pakistan, by enhancing their economic ties, can also lead to promotion of intra-regional trade in the belt of South Asia. “I would say there is huge opportunity and I think we need to invest very heavily and mutually in development of regional corridors”, former Vice-President of the World Bank for Middle East and North Africa Dr Shamshad Akhtar stated. She went on to say that regional cooperation can play an important role in uplifting the economic situation of the regional states.
Expressing her views, she said that such cooperation has huge advantage because it would open up new markets for Pakistan as well the other trading partners. Leaders of Iran and Pakistan have already agreed to enhance the bilateral trade volume to $5 billion in the next five years. Meanwhile Iran’s exports to Pakistan in the first quarter (March 21-June 20) of this year (started on March 21) rose by 61 percent compared to the figure in the same period the previous year, according to statistics available.
While bilateral trade between Iran and Pakistan on non-oil products has also witnessed a significant growth of 19.7 percent during the last six months.