Iranian Diplomat Unearths Hurdles in the Pakistan Trade Odyssey

Iran’s Ambassador to Pakistan, Dr. Reza Amiri Moghaddam, has outlined several issues hindering the growth of trade between Tehran and Islamabad. Speaking at a reception in Lahore, Dr. Moghaddam identified a lack of a formal banking channel, bureaucratic behavior in both Pakistan and Iran, and reliance on international currencies as major obstacles to promoting bilateral trade.

According to the ambassador, addressing these concerns is crucial to boosting trade between the two nations, which currently stands at $2.4 billion, excluding the energy sector and unofficial exchanges. He believes that, with the right adjustments, trade could potentially surge to over $10 billion in a short time.

Dr. Moghaddam emphasized the importance of establishing a proper banking channel for business transactions and changing the behavior of officials from both countries. He suggested that introducing alternative currencies, such as the Chinese yuan, could facilitate trade. Iran, with its experience in using currencies other than the US dollar, conducts annual imports and exports worth $100 billion collectively.

The ambassador noted the economic advantages of the two nations’ proximity, citing minimal transportation costs for goods due to their common borders. He also highlighted the potential for Pakistan to meet 70% of Iran’s import needs and Iran to fulfill 80% of Pakistan’s import requirements.

Dr. Moghaddam questioned the reluctance of Pakistani businesses to participate in trade exhibitions in Iran and urged them to engage more actively in such events. He emphasized the importance of addressing common threats and promoting warm relations based on the shared historical, religious, and cultural ties between the two nations.

Furthermore, the Iranian diplomat discussed the potential for energy cooperation, suggesting that Iran could provide affordable energy resources for projects related to the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). He underlined the significance of regional cooperation to counter common threats, citing Israel’s territorial expansion desires as an example.

Ambassador Moghaddam’s remarks shed light on the challenges currently faced by Pakistan and Iran in their efforts to expand trade and collaboration, while also emphasizing the potential for significant growth in their economic ties if these issues can be resolved.

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