Pakistan and Iran Reach an Agreement for Barter Trade

Pakistan and Iran have reached an agreement regarding barter trade, and it would start in a month. This was informed in a meeting of the Standing Committee on Commerce held at the Parliament House on Thursday under the Chairmanship of Senator Zeeshan Khanzada.

The Commerce Secretary apprised the Standing Committee on Commerce that due to the lack of banking channels with Iran, there are few issues in trading with Tehran. However, the barter trade issue with Iran has been resolved, he informed.

On the question of Senator Fida Mohammad regarding the FATF Grey List, the Commerce Secretary informed that being on the grey list has had no negative impact on Pakistan’s exports.

The Advisor for Commerce, Abdul Razzaq Dawood, briefed the Committee on GSP Plus status (Generalized Scheme of Preferences). He informed the Committee that Pakistan’s exports to Europe had reached $9 billion.

The Commerce Advisor informed the Committee that the European Union (EU) was satisfied with Pakistan’s implementation of the GSP Plus terms. Pakistan had complied with most of the 27 conventions. He underlined that Pakistan had already addressed issues like eradication of child labor, freedom of speech, rights of journalists, rights of women, and others as per assigned indicators.

He asserted that the EU asked for expanding the range of exports to European markets, but exports to the EU have not increased because of the deficiencies of our exporters.

While responding to a question asked by the Chairman Committee, Abdul Razzaq Dawood remarked that under GSP Plus, 66 percent of Pakistan’s tariff lines were on zero duties. EU exports increased by 47 percent, he said, adding that trade with the EU is in Pakistan’s interest.

For maximum participation of all members and inclusive discussion, the detailed deliberation on GSP plus status and briefing by the Pakistan Cotton Standards Institute (PCSI) were recessed for the next meeting.

The Commerce Adviser also lauded the role of the Senate Standing Committee on Commerce in passing the (Geographical Indications) GI Act.

The meeting was attended by Senator Fida Mohammad, Senator Saleem Mandviwala, Commerce Advisor, Abdul Razzaq Dawood, Secretary Commerce, Additional Secretary Commerce, and officials from Pakistan Cotton Standards Institute.