Business & Economy

Pakistan, Iran Announce Free Trade Agreement Push

© AP Photo / Anjum NaveedPakistan Navy soldiers patrol in Gwadar port, about 700 kilometers (435 miles) west of Karachi, Pakistan, Monday, April 11, 2016
Pakistan Navy soldiers patrol in Gwadar port, about 700 kilometers (435 miles) west of Karachi, Pakistan, Monday, April 11, 2016 - Sputnik India, 1920, 24.04.2024
Iran and Pakistan may have launched tit-for-tat military precision strikes inside each other's territories earlier this year, but continue to focus on improving their economic ties. A significant announcement was made in this regard this week.
Pakistan and Iran on Wednesday announced to push for a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) between the two neighboring Asian countries.
A joint statement released in Islamabad amid Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi's visit to Pakistan noted that the Islamic sovereign states will "expedite" the formalization of an FTA.
"Both sides agreed to expeditiously finalize the FTA and hold the next sessions of annual Bilateral Political Consultations (BPC) and Joint Business Trade Committee (JBTC) as well as the 22nd round of the negotiations of the Joint Economic Commission (JEC) in the near future," the joint statement read.
Tehran and Islamabad also reached a consensus to kickstart a barter trade system, aimed to give a fillip to economic activities in markets near the borders of the two countries.
Besides, an agreement was reached to boost visits of economists and experts associated with financial technology to augment economic cooperation.
Interestingly, Pakistan and Iran's efforts to intensify their discussions on a Free Trade Agreement come amid Raisi showing his unhappiness over the trade volumes of the two states.
Raisi is eyeing a five-fold increase in the trade exchanges between Iran and Pakistan, with volumes touching a minimum of $10 billion annually in the next few years.
The trade between Tehran and Islamabad was estimated to be worth $2 billion in 2023.
FILE - In this March 11, 2013 file photo, Iranian workers weld two gas pipes together at the start of construction on a pipeline to transfer natural gas from Iran to Pakistan, in Chabahar, southeastern Iran, near the Pakistani border - Sputnik India, 1920, 23.04.2024
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