Pakistan, Iran chalk out $5 billion five-year trade cooperation plan
Foreign ministers vow to finalise free trade agreement between two neighbours: Five more border markets to be operationalized by year-end: Islamabad and Tehran to free each other’s prisoners and fishermen
By News Desk
August 3, 2023 11:56 AM
Pakistan and Iran have chalked out a five-year trade cooperation plan spanning 2023-2028 with a bilateral trade target of five billion dollars, reported 24NewsHD TV channel.
Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari made the disclosure at a joint press stakeout along with his Iranian counterpart Hossein Amir Abdollahian in Islamabad Thursday afternoon.
Foreign Minister Bilawal said the five-year plan is aimed at removing impediments on bilateral trade, finalization of Free Trade Agreement and establishment of institutional linkages between the respective private sectors.
Bilawal said Pakistan encompasses a vision for greater enhanced trade, which is fully aligned with Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi policy of neighbourhood first. “To this end, we have agreed to prioritize operationalization of the five remaining border markets by the end of this year,” he added.
Bilawal said “We have decided to repatriate all the sentenced prisoners as per provisions of agreements between two sides. He said it has also been decided to set free fishermen in custody and to waive off any fine imposed by the authorities of both the countries for the release of their vessels. He said the two sides will exchange lists of prisoners to put into practice this understanding expeditiously.
Bilawal also discussed the grave human rights situation in Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir. He said we are grateful to the Iranian leadership for its firm and consistent support to the legitimate cause of Kashmiri people.
Regarding the situation in Afghanistan, Bilawal said they have agreed to continue their active engagement with a view of advancing peace and stability in Afghanistan to promote well-being and prosperity of Afghan brothers and sisters. He said they also agreed to continue their cooperation to counter Islamophobia and anti-Muslim hatred.
Speaking on the occasion, the Iranian foreign minister called for promoting cooperation in economy, trade and tourism under regional mechanisms. He said the two sides are fully committee to increase the bilateral trade to five billion dollars. He said we have agreed to set up a special economic free trade region along the common border points.
Hossein Amir-Abdollahian said the two countries will take immediate steps for the release of fishermen and their vessels. He said convicted prisoners on both sides will be exchanged.
Emphasising on the completion of Pakistan-Iran gas pipeline, the Iranian foreign minister said it will definitely serve the national interests of the two countries.
He also condemned the most recent terrorist attack in Bajaur and extended sympathies with the effected people and government of Pakistan.
Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari welcomed his Iranian counterpart Hossein Amir Abdollahian at Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Islamabad on Thursday, reported 24NewsHD TV channel.
The Iranian foreign minister also held talks with Bilawal Bhutto Zardari and discussed all aspects of bilateral relations and the emerging regional situation.
Besides one-on-one meeting, there were also delegation-level parleys between both the sides. Both the foreign ministers led their respective delegations.
Reporter Mohsinul Mulk