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Pakistan, Iran agree to expand trade relations

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TEHRAN: Makhdoom Muhammad Amin Faheem, Federal Minister for Commerce visited Tehran to attend 5th Meeting of Pak-Iran Joint Trade Committee (JTC). The meeting of JTC was inaugurated by Makhdoom Muhammad Amin Faheem and his Iranian counterpart Dr. Masoud Mir Kazemi and was also attended by senior officials from both sides. A 3-member delegation of Rice Exporters Association of Pakistan (REAP) also conducted negotiations with Government Trading Corporation (GTC) and Iranian private sector importers of Rice.

During the 5th JTC both sides agreed to expand Preferential Trade Agreement (PTA). Both Pakistan and Iran have implemented PTA since September, 2006, wherein concession in import duties have been granted on about 647 items by both sides on reciprocal basis. However, the current volume of bilateral trade between the two countries is not reflective of the true potentials of the two countries.

Both sides agreed to exchange lists of news items for inclusion in PTA with mutual consent and also to increase the extent of concession on some items already included in the PTA. Both sides further agreed to hold a meeting of experts in mid-August 2009 at Islamabad to finalize these lists.

They agreed to increase in bilateral cooperations: Both sides discussed and finalized two MoUs between the following organizations for increasing cooperation. Both the countries agree to sign MoU of bilateral cooperation between Trade Development Authority of Pakistan (TDAP) and Iran Trade Promotion Organization (ITPO).

They agreed to also sign MoU between TDAP and Iran International Exhibition Company (IIEC) for providing 200 sq. meter space to each other in the exhibitions held/organized by these entities. They will also facilitate the holding of single-country exhibition.

Regarding facilitation of Private Sector: Both sides agreed to request the Iran’s Chamber of Commerce, Industries & Mines and Federation of Pakistan Chamber of Commerce and Industry to hold the meetings of Joint Business Council (JBC) every year turn by turn. The forth JBC will be held in 2009 in Pakistan.

Pakistan expressed its commitment to hold Pakistan’s Single Country Exhibition after Ramadan in 2009 at Tehran. Both sides also agreed to constitute a Border Trade Commitment Committee comprising of Custom, Local Chamber, Local Administration, Trade Organization and Transport Authorities to hold regular meetings to sort out various trade issues at the border stations.

The meetings were held in spirit of complete understanding and friendship. The Ministers of Commerce resolved to push trade between the two countries so as to achieve the true trade potential of the two brotherly countries. It was resolved to exchange frequent visits of trade delegations and convey maximum information about the trade facilities of each country. NNI

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