Lahore: The China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) is a great economic development and Iran wants to be part of it. This was stated by the Consul General of Iran Mohammad Hossein Bani Assadi while speaking at the Lahore Chamber of Commerce & Industry.
Iranian Consul General was also heading a three member delegation of Iranian Construction Group said that first Iranian branch would be opened in Karachi very soon as State Bank of Pakistan and Central Bank of Iran have finalized all modalities to this regard. While congratulating the LCCI new body, he said that the Lahore Chamber of Commerce & Industry is a think tank that is doing a lot to promote regional trade. He said that Iran and Pakistan should take measures to enhance mutual trade volume as both the countries have the potential to do trade of billions dollars.
He said that Iran is ready to fulfill the growing energy needs of Pakistan. He said that Pak-Iran Gas Pipeline project could be completed in short span of time. He said that this project must be completed as energy is necessary for all trade and economic activities.
In his address, the LCCI President Abdul Basit said that collaboration between Pakistani and Iranian business in the ongoing projects of China Pakistan Economic Corridor could go a long way. He welcomed the statement of Iranian Ambassador H.E. Mehdi Honardoust saying that Iran is interested to join CPEC and invest in Pakistan infrastructure and energy sectors. He said that that many projects under CPEC are underway and there are many to emerge with the passage of time. If Iran instantly collaborates with Pakistan then there are greater chances that they would obtain reasonable share.
Abdul Basit anticipated that there will be further delegations visiting from Iran to Pakistan in near future. He expressed gratitude to Iranian Consul General for extending best cooperation to LCCI delegation which visited Iran in March this year.
He said that Pakistan and Iran are two brotherly Islamic countries. Therefore, maximum efforts are needed to strengthen their relations in all fields. He said both the sides need to conduct market research to further strengthen trade relations between the two countries. Priority should be given to each other for import of goods rather than buying from distant countries. Collaboration in SMEs and mega projects like onshore and offshore oil & gas exploration activities, hydel and coal based energy projects, paper & board, sugar, cement, chemicals, transport & communication, construction of roads in Pakistan, scientific & educational cooperation, handicrafts, artificial jewelry, carpets, fancy furniture etc.
The LCCI Senior Vice President Amjad Ali Jawa and Vice President Muhammad Nasir Hameed Khan said Pakistan is basically an agricultural country bestowed with variety of seasons and agro-based products. But due to lack of post harvest technologies a lot of agriculture produce is wasted. Hence, technology from Iran can help Pakistan’s agro-based food processing and dairy industry to improve. They said Pakistan is one of the leading countries and known around the globe for its textile potential and products, that still needs to be properly introduced in Iranian business houses. Such efforts can also prove vital to equalize our trade balance.