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Pak to collaborate with Iran in Trade Cooperation Plan

Islamabad : Pakistan and Iran have planned to undertake additional steps under the five-year Strategic Trade Cooperation Plan in order to enhance annual trade to five billion dollars.

The five-year plan will be signed by Iranian Minister for Industry, Mines and Trade. and Pakistan’s Commerce Minister Khurram Dastgir during the current visit of Iranian President Hasan Rouhani in the wake of lifting of international sanctions from Tehran, reports Dawn.

The document of strategic cooperation states in view of decline in bilateral trade over the past several years, it needs to be raised to five billion dollars annually in five years and to further higher levels subsequently.

A large number of challenges have been identified that should be addressed to achieve this trade objective.

The two countries will establish a mechanism to cope with issues hampering bilateral trade such as non-tariff barriers, absence of a mutual recognition agreement, lack of banking facilities, infrastructure bottlenecks and trade through informal channels.

The framework agreement will deal with trade in goods, trade facilitation, rules of origin and dispute settlement.

Negotiations will conclude in one-and-a-half years from June 2016 to December 2017 unless both sides agree on an extension.

The Trade Development Authority of Pakistan and the Iranian Trade Promotion Organisation will jointly draw up a comprehensive programme of promotional activities, including single-country exhibitions, sharing of commercial intelligence and exchange of business delegations.

The two sides underlined that they need to offer market access under formal agreements for giving a fresh boost to bilateral trade and opening up commerce and investment. (ANI)