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Iran, Pakistan negotiating free trade agreement

Tehran Times | 5 March 2023

Iran, Pakistan negotiating free trade agreement

TEHRAN – Iran and Pakistan are negotiating a free trade agreement with the aim of boosting their mutual trade to a targeted five billion dollars per year, an official with Iran’s Trade Promotion Organization (TPO) said.

Speaking in a televised program on Sunday, Mohammad-Sadeq Qanadzadeh put the two countries’ trade at $2.2 billion in 2022, saying that Pakistan is one of Iran’s main strategic trade partners in the region, IRIB reported.

According to Qanadzadeh, the main draft of the FTA has been prepared and reviewed by the governments of the two countries and the two sides are currently working on a list of commodities to be included in the agreement.

“This is a time-consuming and specialized process that involves all related institutions and organizations. Therefore, although the FTA is on our serious agenda, it will take some time to be finalized as we are still working on the technical aspects,” the official said.

Mentioning an already existing preferential trade agreement between the two counties, Qanadzadeh said “We signed the agreement in 2006 based on which up to 380 commodity items were subjected to preferential trade.”

“In 2016, some restrictions were put in place and the implementation of the agreement fell behind. Again, last year, these restrictions were lifted, and now the preferential trade between Iran and Pakistan is underway,” he added.

In December 2016, Iran and Pakistan started negotiating an FTA with the resolve to timely complete the negotiation process and achieve the objective of enhancing bilateral trade for the betterment of the people of both countries.

The talks were an outcome of a memorandum signed by Islamabad and Tehran on a five-year strategic trade cooperation plan in March 2016.

 source: Tehran Times