Iran can fulfill Pakistan's gas and energy needs: Miftah
Iran can fulfill Pakistan’s gas and energy needs, says Miftah
TEHRAN (Dunya News) – Minister for Finance Miftah Ismail said on Wednesday that Pakistan is in dire need of gas and energy that can be easily fulfilled by Iran.
In an exclusive interview with an Iranian news agency on the eve of Joint Economic Commission (JEC) meeting on Wednesday in Islamabad, he said that China is the biggest world market and needs energy, and Iran which is one of the world’s biggest exporters of energy can fulfill China’s energy needs through Pakistan. “We think that Iran should become part of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) project. We welcome Iranian investment in Gwadar on any other energy projects under the CPEC,” he said.
“All countries do trade with neighbors and there is nothing new about that,” he said and added Pakistan will take every measure to remove any hurdle in trade with Iran. He said that Pakistan had opened border markets and that the major part of its Balochistan state’s trade is with Iran and Afghanistan.
The minister went on to say that there is a lot of unofficial trading going on between Iran and Pakistan, adding that Iranian products could be seen in Pakistani shops, especially in Karachi, and there is no harm if this trade can be formalized, as the countries normally do the first trade with neighbors.
“I look forward to the day when there is more trade between Iran and Pakistan,” the minister said.
“Iran produces lots of things which Pakistan buys or could buy and vice-versa,” noted the Pakistani official, adding: “The one major agenda of the upcoming meeting of the Joint Economic Commission would be to enhance the bilateral trade between the two friendly countries.”
The minister went on to say that the main hurdle in bilateral trade is the currency and the lack of banking relations. “We cannot open LCs in US dollar in trade with Iran and this is a major difficulty.”
“Now there is a mechanism that the central banks’ governors have figured out and in the JEC meeting this mechanism would be formalized to ease the trade,” he said.