ISLAMABAD: The 17TH Session of Iran-Pakistan Joint Economic Commission (JEC) concluded in Tehran. Federal Minister for Finance and Economic Affairs, Syed Naveed Qamar led Pakistan’s delegation in the meeting while Iranian side was led by Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki.
Four documents of cooperation were signed at the conclusion of the JEC meeting including MoU of 17th Session of Joint Economic Commission between Pakistan and Iran, MoU between Iran Chamber of Commerce and Industries and Mines and Federation of Chamber of Commerce and Industries; Agreement between the Government of Islamic Republic of Pakistan and the Government of Islamic Republic of Iran on International Transport of Passengers and Goods by Road; and an MoU between Pakistan Television Corporation (PTV), Pakistan Broadcasting Corporation (PBC) and Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting (IRIB).
The Federal Minister for Finance and Economic Affairs while speaking on the occasion said that Pak-Iran Joint Economic Commission is a useful institutional framework to regulate the economic relations and identify new areas of cooperation.
Referring to changing global economic trends the Minister highlighted that Pakistan and Iran needed to take positive steps towards greater economic integration. Both countries also need to take initiatives in order to open up their economies and explore possibilities of enhancing trade, the Minister added. He said “we look forward to starting the bus service between the two countries by the middle of August which will facilitate travel of Zairian and other visitors”.
The Minister highlighted the investment friendly environment in Pakistan which had facilitated foreign direct investment of over US $ 4 billion in the country during 2007-08. He appreciated Iran’s cooperation in the power sector projects of Pakistan.
Iranian Foreign Minister, Manouchehr Mottaki in his speech commended the recent economic and industrial achievements of Pakistan and underlined that the potential of economic cooperation between the two countries was far more than the present volume of trade between them which is US $ 500 million annually. He said the leadership of the two countries is determined to increase the level of bilateral trade up to US $ one billion in the near future.
The Iranian Foreign Minister said that the two countries were cooperating on the gas pipeline project and expressed hope that Gas Pipeline will benefit not only our two countries but other countries in the region as well. The Minister for Finance and Economic Affairs, Syed Naveed Qamar expressed hope that the volume of bilateral trade between the two countries will be more than US $ 1 billion annually by the next session of the JEC.
He underscored that the present democratic government in Pakistan was devising policies of good governance in accordance with the vision of Shaheed Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto who presented the ultimate sacrifice by laying here life for the cause of democracy and socio economic development of the people of Pakistan.
The Iranian Minister expressed sympathies on behalf of government and people of Iran on the assassination of Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto. The signing ceremony of the agreements/MoUs was attended by the Ambassador of Pakistan Shafkat Saeed and senior officials from both countries.-SANA