Pakistan Minister for Commerce, Makhdoom Amin Fahim, showing concern over the decreasing trade between Pakistan and Iran, has emphasized the need for effectively implementing the Preferential Trade Agreement, IRNA reported.
He stated this at a meeting with 34-member of Iranian delegation which was led by Hossein Sadiq Aabedeen, Governor General of Fars Province, Iran.
The Commerce Minister showed concern over the decreasing trade between two countries adding that trade between Iran and Pakistan peaked to US$1.32 billion in 2008-2009 but subsequently declined to US$1.16 billion in 2009-2010 and further to US $734.94 million in 2010-11.
Pakistan major items of exports of Iran include Rice (US$75.11 million), meat and Meat preparations (US$11.80 million) Agricultural products (US$6.96 million excluding Rice and Fruit, Non value added Textiles (US$1.80).
Major items of import included petroleum products; however Pakistan's imports from Iran have decreased from US$653.06 million in 2009 to US$36.61 million in 2011.
Other products include Organic Chemical US$75.60 million, Plastics (US$ 65.37 million Iron Ores and Concentrates (US$38.17 million), Articles of Iran and Steel (US$ 32.29 million).
The Minister referred to Pakistan's Preferential Trade Agreement (PTA) with Iran on which is operation from since 2006, Under the PTA Pakistan has granted tariff concessions to Iran on 338 tariff lines, while Iran has granted tariff concessions on 309 lines.
Average tariff concessions are around 18% and commerce Minister emphasized that need for effectively implement the PTA in its time sprit.
Pakistan and Iran have an institutional agreement in the shape of Joint Trade committee and Joint Economic Commission, During Pak-Iran JEC held on 7-8 September, 2011, both sides agreed to explore the possibility of entering into a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) for substantial increase in bilateral trade.
Pakistan's Additional Secretary Fazal Abbas Maken while highlighting the problems faced by Pakistani exporters requested the Iranian govt to reduce the visa fee for Pakistan businessmen and tourist as the existing fee is too high.
A request was also placed to keep the Pakistan Iran land border open for a longer time for trucks to pass as many perishable items go to waste.