According to the former Foreign Minister of Iran Syed Kamal Kharazi, Iran is looking for the ways of importing Rice Directly from Pakistan.
The ceremony held on Sunday was attended by Syed Kamal Kharazi and Acting Counsel-general Majid Sadeghi Dowlatabadi. Speaking on the occasion and addressing Pakistani Rice exporters Mr. Kharazi said Iranian people are rice-eaters and they are fond of Pakistani basmati rice, but unfortunately Pakistan basmati rice is being imported from Dubai into Tehran which is not good for both countries as far as bilateral trade is concerned. Pakistan and Tehran both losing opportunities in this trade, said Kharazi.
Responding to the demand made by Rice Export Association of Pakistan (REAP) president Samiullah Naeem, Mr. Kharazi said we are also working on the project to open bank branches in both countries for direct trade transactions in a currency other than U.S. dollar in order to avoid U.S. sanctions and concerns.
Iran is also interested in bilateral trade with Pakistan other than rice, and in talks with Islamabad to reduce duties on imports in order to enhance trade size between both countries. He highlighted the support Iran provided when Pakistan was created and also constructing the Iranian gas pipeline closer to Pakistan’s border, however, he regretted the latter was unable to complete the work on gas pipeline due to immense pressure by the United States.
He said US sanctions put Iran in self-development mode and Iran was able to attain self-sufficiency in development and defense needs. Earlier Mr. Naeem said the bilateral trade between Pakistan and Iran accounted for less than $800 million which could go easily up to $10 billion if we continued bilateral relations without any external pressure.
Mr. Naeem demanded the removal of duties from Pakistan exports into Iran prelude to free trade agreement between two countries. The delegation of rice exporters should leave for Iran soon and Mr. Kharazi would help the delegation in closing B2B deals there in Iran—he hoped.