Gas Pipeline critical to fulfill Pakistan’s energy needs: Iran envoy  


ISLAMABAD Oct 8 (TNS): Ambassador of Iran to Pakistan says that Iran-Pakistan (IP) gas pipeline is a key project that will completely change the face of Pakistan’s economy.

During his visit to Sialkot Chamber Of Commerce and Industry in eastern city of Sialkot, Mehdi Honardoost said the project can easily fulfill the energy requirements of Pakistan.

“Iran has over 400 years of gas resources available and Pakistan can take benefit of that by completing the gas pipeline project,” IRNA quoted him as saying Sunday.

‘We like Iranian gas to come here which can change the face of Pakistan’s economy totally; the cost production will come down if Iranian gas comes here, more jobs will be created, no doubt it is a key project,” Honardoost added.

He said according to the mindset of our Supreme Leader Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei and our government all doors are open for the people of Pakistan.

The diplomat said that Iran and Pakistan have lot of commonalities. “There are no countries in the region that have so many common things like Iran and Pakistan,” he noted.

The Iranian ambassador reiterated that Iran and Pakistan are one country, our destiny, concerns and interests are the same.

Expressing his views, the envoy said that the most important impediment in the trade between Iran and Pakistan is lack of information.

“We should try to seize all the opportunities to enhance our relations, especially in trade sector, we should explore and activate all the possibilities to improve the trade ties between the two countries, we should work for the promotion of the ties and the two great nations deserve the promotion of relations,” said Mehdi Honardoost.

The ambassador added that the best side of the relations which is tangible is trade and business.

Honardoost said leaders of the two countries are also willing to enhance bilateral ties in all sectors and despite the mischief by the third parties the relations between Iran and Pakistan are getting better day by day.

“We have seen 35 percent increase in our trade with Pakistan, we have also seen 15 percent of increase in rice exports from Pakistan,” he pointed out. He added the quality of Pakistani rice is very good, it is tasty and hygienic also.

“We are looking for more and more trade with Pakistan, our trade with other regional countries is many times more than Pakistan,” said the envoy. He added that Pakistani people must visit Iran regularly; it is their country.

“We are better than European countries in many fields like nanotechnology, bio technology, but our Pakistani brothers are not aware of that, lack of information and knowledge is the main impediments that overshadow our trade,” he viewed.

He said that we should have more and more interaction, and we should also have some incentives for Chambers of Commerce of the two countries to encourage the investors.

“We can have trade in Euros and other currencies. Our trade with regional countries is not better than you but it is many times higher than you because you are not faster as they are,” noted the ambassador.

Expressing his views, Honardoost said everything must be done under the international regulations, but our bilateral trade even under international regulation is very low.

“We also have live border markets with Pakistan as many people belonging to same tribes living on both sides of the border. We should encourage the border markets which would also bring prosperity in border regions,” he said.

The envoy added economies of Iran and Pakistan are complementary to each other ‘so we can create lot of opportunities for joint ventures’.

He said Pakistan businessmen can invest in Iranian free trade zones and can make big profits. “We will be having direct flights between capitals of Iran and Pakistan in next three days. Earlier we had flights from Karachi and Lahore,” said the ambassador.

He said that Iran has very good experience about Free Trade Agreement (FTA) and Preferential Trade Agreement (PTA). “The Embassy of Iran is ready to fully cooperate and facilitate Pakistani people. Business and trade with Pakistan is our priority,” Honardoost said.