Iran to hold single country exhibition in Karachi: CG

  • Motiwala urges to expand Barter Trade Agreement with Iran
  • Official banking channel with Iran be set up to boost trade: Abdul Rasheed

Karachi, June 20, 2022: The Consul General of Islamic Republic of Iran, H.E Hassan Nourian has announced to organize Iran single country exhibition in Karachi in the month of December 2022, said that good steps have been taken recently for the promotion of trade with Pakistan which include inauguration of two crossing borders and simultaneously approval of opening of border markets to increase commercial ties and facilitate meeting needs of each other. Barter Trade was agreed last year on the occasion of the visit of the then Commerce Minister Abdul Razzak Daud to Iran and it will be practical in the coming two months.

He was addressing members of SITE Association of Industry on the occasion of his visit. He was accompanied by Commercial Consul Hossein Amini.  The meeting was attended by Zubair Motiwala, Patron-in-Chief of SITE Association of Industry, Abdul Rasheed, President SITE Association, Saud Mahmood, Senior Vice President, Muhammad Kamran Arbi, VP, Majyd Aziz, former president, Abdul Hadi, former president, Saleem Nagaria, Riazuddin, Abdul Kadir Bilwani, Khalid Riaz, Touseef Ahmed, Muhammad Riaz Dhedhi, Naveed Wahid, Muhammad Hussain Moosani, Haris Shakoor and others.

The Consul General appreciated the recent visit of Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari to Tehran in this regard and said that during his visit, the issues such as accelerating the opening of barter market, establishing some financial and monetary mechanism, supply energy to Pakistan, facilitating issuance of business visas and other matters were discussed.

Adding further on the matter of barter trade, the Consul General said that there are some challenges and obstacles in front of our mutual journey and with the will of the rulers of the two countries, these impediments will get removed soon. The new President of Islamic Republic of Iran has announced that good relations with neighbouring countries will be the top priority on his foreign policy.

The Consul General added that the role of the private sector in trade promotion is inevitable and Pak-Iran Joint Investment Company is ready to financially support our joint investments. He announced that we at the Consulate General of Iran, are ready to assist businessmen in all possible ways in achieving these goals and thanked the President Abdul Rasheed for inviting him to the Association to discuss matters of bilateral trade and promotion of bilateral ties.

In response to a question regarding banking channels, he said that Iran has already suggested opening an Iranian Bank Branch in Karachi. We can start a new way of dealing in our national currencies instead of dollars or euros. Iran is ready. If SBP issues NOC, it will happen very soon.

“We have presented an official invitation from Bandar Abbas Chamber of Commerce to the President of Karachi Chamber of Commerce & Industry to send a delegation to visit Bandar Abbas which is the hub of economy of Iran and an Agreement of Sister Cities can also be signed between Karachi and Bandar Abbas. We invite delegations from KCCI and SITE and other Associations to visit Bandar Abbas”, the Consul General added.

Speaking on this occasion, Patron-in-Chief of SITE Association of Industry Zubair Motiwala said that we have strong bonds with Iran. We are financially weak and FATF issues are also there. We really want to work together, come closer and have more business with each other.

“Barter Trade is going on since sanctions are there. Business community of two countries should sit together and work on creating a win-win situation for both the countries. Iran has an edge in oil, gas, iron ore and many other products which it is not able to export because of UN sanctions. A portion of it can be diverted to Pakistan like the Iran-Pakistan Gas Pipeline. Industries in Pakistan are in great crisis due to shortage of gas which our next door neighbor Iran has in abundance.”

Expressing views on Barter Trade with Iran, Motiwala said that in Barter Trade, there are many windows. It’s a closed kind of agreement. It should be partially official where the guarantors are the official parties but the business should be carried out on business to business contact. Under the arrangement, Pakistan can import ore and send textile or rice as there is no bar on importing food for Iran under UN sanctions. We are doing business with India as well and we are of the view that business activities should not be restricted due to political problems or sanctions.

He added that under Barter Trade, we can have Joint Ventures in value-added precious stones and fibre. If this idea of barter trade works, it will solve many problems. Later, we can also work on gas under barter trade. There are certain items which can be termed as raw material. Garment factories are already working in Iran and producing nice garments. Digital printing plants can be installed there. We understand that the Barter Agreement should be expanded to benefit both the countries.

Motiwala was of the view that gas is still far away from pipeline perspective. The UN should understand this situation. On gas I told UN high officials in a meeting that by imposing sanctions on Iran, UN is penalizing allies of war against terrorism. Gas is in huge demand in our country and the demand is increasing.

Earlier, President, SITE Association of Industry, Abdul Rasheed, presented a brief introduction of SITE area, highlighted its share in the national economy and ex-chequer, and said that Islamic Republic of Iran and Islamic Republic of Pakistan are Muslim brother countries. As far as trade between the two countries is concerned, I am of the view that there is a huge potential to enhance bilateral trade and economic relations between Iran and Pakistan in many sectors such as textiles. Pakistan and Iran must make collective efforts to explore new avenues. Time is ripe for further strengthening bilateral trade ties.

Rasheed added that official banking and payment channels should be explored and set up to boost trade.  Barter Trade is also an option. Trade with Afghanistan is being done in Pak Rupees and the same can also be done with Iran.

Former President SITE Association, Majyd Aziz requested to organize an exhibition of Iranian products in Karachi, earlier scheduled for Islamabad. He suggested forming a block of neighbouring countries consisting of China, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Russia and Iran, abbreviated as CAPRI and supporting Afghanistan using China as medium in case of sanctions.

He said that Pakistan is facing a severe shortage of oil but unfortunately we cannot import from Iran. He stressed the need to have good relations with the neighborhood, particularly Iran and added that Chabahar and Gwadar should be sister ports and we can do wonders if we do it. The Iran-Pakistan Gas Pipeline was a great project; some business tycoons were also ready to finance the pipeline. Talking about trade with Iran, he said that Iran imports 75% rice from India and only 10% from Pakistan which needs to be revisited. “Despite all the sanctions, Iran is surviving and progressing” remarked Majyd Aziz.

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