ISLAMABAD, March 28: President Pakistan Businessmen and Intellectuals Forum (PBIF), Mian Zahid Hussain on Monday said visit of Iranian President Hassan Rouhani can be a turning point in bilateral relations.
He asked both the governments to implement the decisions taken during the visit of Rouhani to make every sphere of bilateral relationship healthy.
Mian Zahid Hussain said that the issue of gas pipeline was not on the table as per common perception which has disappointed many.
Pakistan’s trade with Iran stands at unimpressive 250 million dollar while Tehran’s trade with India and UAE is in billions of dollars which is annoying, he added.
Mian Zahid said that the role of ministry for food security is as important as that of ministry of commerce in boosting trade with Iran due to the highly unpredictable and confusing import mechanism practiced in Iran, especially that of agricultural products.
The import regime in beyond the understanding of many importers which results in increased cost and wastage of perishable goods, especially fruits and vegetables for which the agriculture ministry will have to take initiative with counterparts in Tehran.
On the other hand, he said, Pakistani laws are clear which has resulted in enhanced imports from Iran and reduced exports. He said that Pakistani traders bear additional cost of one hundred thousand rupees on export of one tonne of rice while they are also weary of attitude of trade officials posted in Iran.
He said that Iranian trucks can drop their merchandise anywhere in Pakistan while Pakistani trucks have been made bound to a location inside Iranian border which is seen as an irritant.
Iranian border check posts and popular for impeding trade while Pakistan border guards are known for facilitating smugglers, he noted.
The veteran business leader lauded decision to open two more border points which will facilitate trade, reduce transportation and business cost and help economy of Balochistan. -Online