Speaking to the Mayor of Iran's Northeastern city of Mashhad, Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI) President Mian Abrar Ahmad said to enhance bilateral economic and commercial cooperation, Pakistan is ready to establish banking channel as the business transactions between Iran and Pakistan was routed through Asian Clearing Union which was more time-consuming than a normal letter of credit (LC), while opening an LC through Iran's sister companies in Dubai also adds to the costs.
He appreciated the Iran-Pakistan trade during the last five years increased from $389 million to $1.2 billion however, it was not aligned with the real existing trade potential.
He emphasized to deepen the existing Preferential Trade Agreement to be followed by Free Trade Agreement.
He said Iran could export to Central Asian Republics, China and India via Pakistan.
He said upon the need to take measures such as economic integration and reduction in transaction costs, port-to-port activities and customs mechanism to expand the volume of bilateral trade.
He urged to activate and develop regional trading block of ECO countries, particularly between Pakistan, Iran and Turkey.
He proposed the trade between Iran and Pakistan should be permitted in local currencies instead of dollars and the trade through railways and road be regularized.
Pakistan has been severely discriminated by the West and as an energy-hungry country we should not accept any dictation on Iran-Pakistan-India gas pipeline project, which was burning need for our country to overcome the energy crisis and for industrialization.
The status of $7.5 billion Iran-Pakistan-India (IPI) Gas Pipeline can enhance the economic relationship with Iran.
He said the biased policies of the US and the West never allowed economic independence to Pakistan as allowed to other countries in the region.
He said Pakistan was facing Non-Tariff Barriers to export in terms of restricted market access and un-liberalize business visa regime from West.