Iran invited to invest in CPEC’s SEZs, JVs

By Shafqat Ali | Gwadar Pro Sep 15, 2021

ISLAMABAD, September 15: Iran was on Tuesday afternoon invited to invest in China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC)’s Special Economic Zones and the Joint Ventures (JVs).

 The invitation was extended to Syed Mohammad Ali Hosseini, Ambassador of Iran as he interacted with the Pakistani business community during his visit to Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ICCI).

 Sardar Yasir Ilyas Khan, President, ICCI said that Iranian investors should explore CPEC’s JVs and investment in SEZs being established in Pakistan that provided long tax holidays.

 He maintained that Pakistan and Iran had great scope to enhance mutual trade relations and should consider setting up digital markets to boost bilateral trade up to the potential of both countries.

 Ambassador Syed Mohammad Ali Hosseini on the occasion indicated that Iran-Pakistan bilateral trade was around US $ 1.5 billion before Covid-19, which had now come down to less than US $ 1 billion.

 He pointed out that foreign sanctions on Iran were a problem for trade promotion. Therefore, establishment of Pakistan-Iran digital markets and joint border markets could be the better options to improve two-way trade volume.

 Hosseini said that Iran and Pakistan have agreed to set up 3 border crossing points that would help increase bilateral trade.

 The envoy believed that facilitation and exemptions by the government of Pakistan for border markets would support the Pakistani business community to further enhance trade with Iranian counterparts.

 The Iranian Envoy regretted that lack of better connectivity between the private sectors of Iran and Pakistan was one of the factors for low trade volume and stressed the need for close cooperation between Iran-Pakistan chambers of commerce to develop strong business linkages between the private sectors of both countries.

 Sharing his views, Sardar Yasir Ilyas Khan, President, ICCI admitted that Pakistan-Iran bilateral trade was much lower than the actual potential and both governments should cooperate with private sectors to take it to higher levels.

 He said that many Pakistani products including pharmaceuticals, textiles, fruits, pink salt, IT products and services, surgical instruments, leather products, steel and pipes, sanitary and crockery could find a good market in Iran at cost effective prices.

 He apprised the envoy that Pakistan has reduced duties on the tourism industry and Iranian entrepreneurs should take advantage of them by developing close cooperation with Pakistan in the tourism sector.

 He was of the view that organizing trade fairs on a reciprocal basis, holding chambers level zoom meetings during Covid-19 and promoting exchange of students between the two countries would be helpful in strengthening trade and economic relations.

 Fatma Azim, Senior Vice President ICCI, Aslam Khokhar, Omais Khattak, Saeed Khan, Usman Khalid, Muhammad Shakir, Ali Akram Khan, Javed Iqbal, Sheikh Pervez, Khalid Chaudhry and others were present in the meeting and shared ideas for promoting bilateral trade and economic relations between Pakistan and Iran.

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