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Pakistan and Iran Discuss Barter Trade Mechanism

ISLAMABAD – Pakistan and Iran are considering the establishment of barter trade and the promotion of cooperation in the fields of customs, agriculture, trade and industry, said Thursday a senior official.
Pakistani Parliamentary Secretary for Commerce Aliya Hamza Malik told the National Assembly that the Pakistani and Iranian authorities have set up a joint trade committee, co-chaired by the trade ministers of the two countries.
Responding to questions, Malik said that the eighth meeting of the joint trade committee was held on July 4, 2019 in Islamabad.
“The two sides have negotiated on the establishment of barter trade, cooperation in the areas of customs, agriculture and industry,” she said.
The parliamentary secretary said that the Ministry of Commerce was renewing the memorandum of understanding between the Trade Development Authority of Pakistan and the international Iranian Exhibition Body.
The Memorandum of Understanding would help promote the fluidity of trade between the two neighboring countries through trade promotion tools such as exhibitions, delegation exchanges and business seminars.
The secretary said the ministry has also started negotiations for a free trade agreement (FTA) with Iran. A technical negotiation committee has been set up for this purpose.
Responding to another question, she said that the ban on trade with India had benefited the country’s producers.
Malik added that exports were growing while imports had declined. She said that the third biennial review of the 2018-2020 Generalized Preferential Plus (GSP plus) scheme would be provisionally completed this month.
Pakistan successfully concluded two previous reviews in 2016 and 2018.
The government has submitted its response to the list of questions and follow-up questions, including 10 priority areas identified to the European Union (EU), in order to prepare the third biennial review.
The EU has given no indication of the withdrawal of SPG + status from Pakistan, she said.
“Intensive lobbying efforts with all EU missions in Pakistan and in all capitals of EC countries, including the EU headquarters in Brussels, are underway.”
Malik said that the Ministry of commerce has launched a national campaign of awareness seminars to inform the national business and export industry, the opportunities available under the second phase of the Sino-Pakistan Free Trade Agreement (CPFTA-II).
Three sessions of the awareness campaign have already taken place in Karachi, Lahore and Islamabad, she said.
A large number of representatives of chambers of commerce and associations of exporters of textiles, clothing, leather and leather clothing, shoes, animal and agricultural products, dairy products, processed foods, chemicals, engineering sector and chambers of women traders actively participated in these events.
The trade secretary shared specific information on the bilateral trade potential under the CFTA-II with 21 sectors, she added.
(Sahar News Monitoring Desk)

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