The Iranian Consul General Muhammad Hossain Banni Assadi on Wednesday, while urging Islamabad to start barter trade with Iran in the larger interest of the people in the two countries, observed that India has done $16 billion bilateral trade only last year through a new mechanism of barter trade.
“Pakistani government should take cue from India, he said and added that Iranian government is well aware of the fact that the business community has been facing problems due to absence of banking channels but barter trade is the best way to tackle issue till the establishment of banking mechanism between the two sides.
The Iranian Consul General called for a new mechanism to enhance the volume of bilateral trade and to overcome the challenge of unofficial trade (smuggling) between the two countries.
The Iranian Consul General was speaking at Lahore Chamber of Commerce & Industry. LCCI President Farooq Iftikhar, Senior Vice President Irfan Iqbal Sheikh, Vice President Mian Abuzar Shad, former president Mohsin Raza Bukhari, Executive Committee Members Mian Zahid Javaid and Iftikhar Bashir Chaudhry also spoke on the occasion.
The Iranian Counsul General said that the LCCI should prepare a well-tailored proposal and send it to the government for an increase in bilateral trade as the existing volume of two-way business does not match the potential the two countries have. The Iranian Consul General said that the business community in the two countries would have to increase interaction to share their experiences in the larger interests of the people of two brotherly nations.
He said that Chambers of Commerce in the two countries would have to focus on expansion of trade by holding single country exhibitions and through trade delegations to each other’s country.
He said that dissemination of sector-specific and trade-related information would go a long way in achieving the goal. Both the countries should share their experiences. Agriculture, tourism and metal industry of Iran have opportunities of investment therefore Pakistani business community should come forward.
Speaking on the occasion, LCCI President Farooq Iftikhar said that the Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry would continue to play its role for increasing bilateral trade and economic relations.
He said that Pakistan Joint Investment Company needs to be reactivated. He said that pharmaceutical, dairy & livestock sectors of Pakistan have huge potential that needs to be looked into.
The LCCI President sought the Iranian government help over the issue of smuggling that has caused irreparable loss to the genuine businessmen.Farooq Iftikhar also informed the Consul General that the Lahore Chamber of Commerce understands that the early completion of Pak-Iran Gas Pipeline Project is in the benefit of Pakistan therefore it would continue to press the government in this regard.