Pakistan wants to deepen oil and gas ties with Iraq, both countries are renewing direct banking channels to ease the process.
Prime Minister Imran Khan’s Adviser on Finance Shaukat Tarin met Iraqi Ambassador Hamid Abbas Lafta on Tuesday and expressed ‘keen’ interest in developing cooperation in the oil and gas sectors.
The meeting came a day after the Trade Bank of Iraq (TBI), the National Bank of Pakistan (NBP), Bank Al-Habib and Askari Bank renewed direct banking channels, according to the Pakistani Embassy in Iraq. The arrangement will allow businesses of both countries to open letters of credit and transfer money using direct banking channels.
In Tuesday’s meeting with the Iraqi envoy, Tarin “expressed keen interest in deepening the bilateral relations in oil and gas sector besides enhancing the quantum of trade between the two countries,” a statement from the finance ministry said.
Pakistan and Iraq, both Muslim countries have increased bilateral contact in recent years.
In August, Iraq’s Foreign Minister Dr. Fuad Hussein visited Islamabad to discuss ways to strengthen bilateral relations. During that visit, a memorandum of understanding on ‘Bilateral Political Consultations’ was signed so that regular consultations on bilateral, regional and international issues could be held between the two nations.