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News number: 9106063224

17:56 | 2012-09-12

Economy

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Iran Renews Readiness for Supplying Energy to Pakistan

TEHRAN (FNA)- Senior Iranian officials reiterated their readiness to supply gas and electricity to the power-hungry Pakistan.



The issue was underscored by Chairman of Tehran's Chamber of Commerce, Industries, Mines and Agriculture (TCCIMA) Yahya Al-e Eshagh, who is heading a 27-member delegation to Pakistan, at a meeting with Karachi's Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI) on Tuesday.

At the meeting, Al-e Eshagh expressed confidence that the visit by the Iranian delegation would strengthen close ties between the two countries and help increase trade volumes in all areas.

Referring to the gas pipeline project, he said that the pipeline laying work is in progress and expected to be completed in next 8 to 10 months up to Pakistan border.

He said Iranian companies are also showing interest in laying pipeline in Pakistan.

He said that the delegation comprises people from banking, energy, textile, food, oil and gas sectors and they all were interested in conducting business in Pakistan.

He pointed out that non-existence of a banking channel between the two countries is one of the biggest hurdles in increasing two way trade and investment.

Yahya Al Eshagh said that Iran also ready to cooperate with Pakistan in power sector and establish power houses in joint venture with their counterparts. Referring to a suggestion of currency swap and barter trade, he welcomed the suggestion and said that Iran is ready for currency swap and barter trade with Pakistan. Iran is already doing currency swap with Turkey, he added.

Yahya Al Eshagh said that Iran and Pakistan are two Muslim neighbor countries in Asia sharing the common culture and historical background. Looking back from the starting point and especially during last few years, Pakistan had become one of the important and reliable trading partners of Iran.

However, the volume of trade is not satisfactory considering the huge potentials. He said that Iran-Pakistan bilateral trade is around 1.2 billion dollars at present which can easily be enhanced to 3 billion dollars in the coming years.

He said in spite of all odds Iran bilateral trade is around 200 billion dollars out of which 80 billion dollars come from export of oil.

Iran is doing good trade with Westerner countries, UAE, India etc, he stated.

The KCCI President, Mian Abrar Ahmed said business transactions between the two countries routed through the Asian Clearing Union were more time-consuming than a normal letter of credit, while opening a LC through Iran's sister companies in Dubai also adds to total cost. Therefore, the establishment of bank branches in two countries is mandatory to enhance the trade, he added.

At the end of the meeting, the TCCIMA and KCCI signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on cooperation.