Pakistan and Iran agreed on Wednesday to explore new areas of partnership in aviation, including direct flights, the reactivation of a gas pipeline project, and the expansion of bilateral trade.
The agreement was reached during a meeting between Commerce Minister Naveed Qamar and visiting Chairman of the Majlis of the Islamic Republic of Iran’s Commission of National Security and Foreign Policy Vahid Jalalzadeh, who is leading a high-level delegation to Pakistan to discuss various measures to promote bilateral economic relations between the two countries.
According to an official notice published during the meeting, both sides stressed the need of strengthening economic connections and increased connectivity.
Mr. Jalalzadeh advocated that direct flights be established between Iran and Pakistan to improve tourism and economic prospects.
Mr. Qamar recognized the importance of this initiative and voiced his support for the establishment of direct flights as a method of facilitating trade and promoting people-to-people exchanges.
During the meeting, the discussions also touched upon the long-standing issue of the Pak-Iran Gas pipeline. Mr Qamar stressed the importance of expediting the project, as it holds immense potential for energy cooperation between the two countries.
He pledged his commitment to resolve any obstacles and move forward with the pipeline, which would bring substantial benefits to both nations.
Recognizing the current trade volume of approximately $2 billion as insufficient, Mr. Jalalzadeh urged the need to take solid steps to increase it to a multi-billion-dollar level. However, there is no official trade between the two countries owing to the non-availability of banking channels and restrictions.
To encourage increased commercial exchange, Mr Qamar underlined the significance of creating new border markets and implementing a barter trade system. He anticipated that these actions would considerably increase trade volume.
Mr. Jalalzadeh also extended an invitation to Mr. Qamar to visit Iran.
The inauguration of one of the six crossings at the Pasheen Border by Pakistan’s Prime Minister and Iran’s President on May 18 was also discussed.