Saturday, November 26
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1st session of Joint Economic Cooperation Commission between Iran and Pakistan

ISLAMABAD: The 21st Session of the Joint Economic Cooperation Commission between the Islamic Republic of Iran and the Islamic Republic of Pakistan was held in Islamabad from 17th -18th August 2022 with the aim of strengthening mutual cooperation.

The Iranian delegation was led by Rostam Ghasemi, Minister of Roads and Urban Development of the Islamic Republic of Iran whereas the Pakistani delegation was headed by Syed Naveed Qamar, Federal Minister for Commerce of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan.

In an atmosphere full of friendship, understanding and willingness to develop mutual cooperation, both sides reviewed the provisions of Agreed Minutes of the 20th Meeting of the Joint Economic Cooperation Commission signed in Tehran on 17-18 April 2017. The Technical Session, held on 17th of August, was facilitated by Ministry of Economic Affairs and was attended by representatives from Ministries including M/o Railways, Aviation, Communication, Maritime Affairs, Inter-Provincial Coordination, Education, Information and Broadcasting, IT and Telecommunications, National Food Security, Heritage Division, Law and Justice division, Climate Change, Overseas Pakistan and HRD, Water Resources, Petroleum and Natural Resources, Water and Power, and Foreign Affairs. During the Technical Session, numerous items were discussed and provides a platform to the delegations from both sides for consultation, debate and discussion.

The areas include; Trade, Commerce and Investment, Banking, Customs, Tax Affairs, Industries and Production, Export Guarantees, Railways, Air Transportation, Airports, Maritime, Roads and Communication, Education, Information Broadcasting, IT and Telecommunications, Livestock, Culture, Tourism and Heritage, Crisis Management, Labor and Social Welfare, Energy, Petroleum and Natural Resources, Water, Agriculture, Health and Environment.

During the JEC’s closing ceremony, held on 18th August, 2022, the Honorable Federal Minister for Commerce, Syed Naveed Qamar stated that Pakistan attributes high importance to the relations with its brotherly neighboring nation, Islamic Republic of Iran. “It is honor for me for co-chairing 21st session of JEC which was held after a long gap.” Minister for Commerce further stated; “Enough agreements have been signed between both nations, now is the time to work hard for their successful implementation.”

He also highlighted that the Quetta-Taftan Road is trafficable, however for further improvement of roads, various projects are being undertaken. The Minister also expressed the need of making visa conditions easier to facilitate the Pakistani traders and visitors. Furthermore, he assured his counterpart that Pakistan is committed to take all possible measures to increase the bilateral trade volume.

To increase the bilateral trade, an additional border crossing point at Gabd (near to Gwadar)-Reemdan has recently been operationalized by Pakistan. In addition, the purpose of agreement on International Transport between Pakistan and Iran aims to facilitate trade traffic from Turkey to Pakistan through Iran, while Iranian goods and passengers can have access to China through Pakistan. Pakistan will have the benefits of access to other Central Asian Republics and Europe through Turkey with operationalization of the decisions taken in the 21st session of JEC.

Moreover, he stated that for the first time in the history of Pak-Iran relations, both states are creating green corridors to move transit trade with no additional tariffs or tax. The project for the creation of Free Economic Zone on borders along with border markets is also under discussion.

He further extended appreciation to his counterpart for offering 5th Freedom Tariff Right to Pakistan which is a great effort on Iranian part. Ghasemi expressed gratitude and honor to the Federal Minister for Commerce as well as Federal Minister for Economic Affairs, Sardar Ayaz Sadiq for hosting his delegation to discuss areas of collaboration and enhancing cooperation. He appreciated the hard work by both sides of delegation to make this session successful and invited the Pakistani side to Tehran for 22nd Session of JEC to be held in next year.

The Iranian Minister apprised his counterpart that Iran strongly belief in further cooperation and enhancement of relations by improving regional pragmatic method to increase opportunity for enhancing bilateral relations. While giving his closing remarks, the Federal Secretary for Economic Affair, Muhammad Humair Karim congratulated the delegates from both sides who worked diligently for full two days to make 21st Session of JEC a reality.

He further apprised that during the 21st Session of Pak-Iran JEC three MoUs were signed in the fields of Maritime, Museum and Information Broadcasting which help strengthening cooperation between the two brotherly countries in these areas. The ceremony ended with the signing of MoUs between both nations and exchange of JEC agreed minutes between both the Ministers.