A high-level meeting reviewed the progress on the measures taken by the Commerce Ministry and Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) to increase barter trade between Pakistan and Iran and Afghanistan on Wednesday.
The meeting was held under the chairmanship of Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Revenue Tariq Pasha at the Ministry of Finance.
The Collector of Customs Quetta and Collector of Customs Peshawar gave presentations on the situation about the customs operations at the border areas. Both the Collectors were specially invited to participate in the meeting. FBR Member Customs (Operations) and FBR Member Customs (Policy) also participated in the meeting.
The meeting was informed that Pakistan and Iran have signed the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to establish ‘border markets’ along with the border areas.
Three border markets are now being established at Gabd, Mund, and Chedgi in Balochistan, near the border with Iran. These will not only enhance bilateral trade but it would also provide economic opportunities and sustenance to people residing in the border areas.
Barter Trade Module has been allotted to the Chamber of Commerce and Industry Quetta by FBR for barter trade and Wayback Automation. The system has come into effect, after which the Pak-Iran barter trade is going to start.
It was noted that Iran needs wheat, rice, cotton, etc., and Pakistan wants to overcome its energy crisis; however, both countries could cater to the required needs of each other through barter trade, sources said.
Participants also talked about the Preferential Trade Agreement (PTA) between Pakistan and Iran and its impact on Pakistan. Iran is an important economy in the region and Pakistan is focusing on strengthening its bilateral relations with all the countries. The barter trade between Pakistan and Iran would also increase the bilateral trade between the two countries.
The meeting was informed that although border trade has commenced between the two countries there is a need to extend the joint border markets.