September 24, 2023

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Iran, Pakistan ink 5-year strategic trade co-op document

TEHRAN- Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian and his Pakistani counterpart Bilawal Bhutto Zardari inked a five-year strategic plan document for trade cooperation between the two neighboring countries from 2023 to 2028.

The two diplomats held a meeting in Islamabad on Thursday, exchanging views on a range of issues, including bilateral relations, IRIB reported.

Amir Abdollahian and Bilawal discussed the latest bilateral political, economic and defense issues, including the development of trade ties during the meeting.

“Under the government of Iran’s President Ebrahim Raisi, the volume of trade exchanges between the two countries has increased by more than 50 percent,” Amir Abdollahian said in the meeting, adding that Iranian and Pakistani officials want to see further expansion of ties in the future, given existing capacities.

Bilawal, for his part, called for the formation of a strategic committee to follow up on agreements on the expansion of cooperation.

He also welcomed the opening of border markets and hailed Amir Abdollahian’s trip as “very beneficial”.

At the end of their meeting, the two officials signed a five-year strategic plan for Iran-Pakistan commercial cooperation.

In recent years, Tehran and Islamabad have been working towards enhancing relations in all areas including bilateral economic relations.

Back in mid-May, President Raisi and Pakistani Prime Minister Shehbaz Sherif inaugurated a joint retail market at a border crossing linking the Iranian city of Pishin to the Pakistani city of Mand to further boost trade ties between the two countries.

The opening of the border market is seen as an important development that can positively affect the economic situation of residents in the border regions.

The administration of President Raisi has made ties with neighbors a top priority of its foreign policy.

Iranian officials have repeatedly reiterated that the government’s foreign policy is basically built on good neighborliness. They stated that Tehran is willing to further bolster cooperation with its neighbors despite enemies’ opposition.

Iran has significantly expanded relations with its neighbors in recent years, especially in trade and commerce fields.

Iran’s non-oil export to Pakistan increased by 18 percent in the previous Iranian calendar year (ended on March 20), according to the spokesman of the Trade Development Committee of the Iranian House of Industry, Mining, and Trade.

Pakistan was Iran’s fifth largest export market in the previous calendar year, importing non-oil products worth $1.488 billion from Iran, Ruhollah Latifi said in May.

He added that Iran imported non-oil goods worth $842 million from Pakistan last year, up 170 percent from the previous year.

Meanwhile, a conference on economic and industry opportunities between Iran and Pakistan was held in Karachi on Friday.

As reported, the conference was held with the participation of Amir Abdollahian, some officials of Karachi, some representatives from the Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry, and some Iranian traders and businessmen.


Photo: Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian (L) and his Pakistani counterpart Bilawal Bhutto Zardari exchange signed documents in Islamabad on Thursday.

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