Energy import form Iran to revolutionise industrial sector: FPCCI

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The Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI) on Saturday termed visit of Iranian President Hassan Rouhani to Pakistan as highly significant which would unleash a new era of bilateral, economic, cultural and political ties.

The two countries must benefit from strengths of each other and increase economic cooperation which was lower than actual potential, said FPCCI President Abdul Rauf Alam.

Speaking at a meeting of Pakistan-Iran Joint Business Council, he said that economy of both the countries was taking off therefore it was best time for the business community to explore opportunities.

The vision of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif had helped improve GDP and forex reserves while inflation was going down which was a very positive sign, he commented.

The FPCCI president said that Pakistan had one of the largest coal, salt, and copper reserves while it held significant place as far as the production of cotton, wheat, milk and beef was concerned which offered an opportunity to the Irani investors.

Abdul Rauf Alam said that Pakistani middle class was fifth largest in the world, awaiting exploitation while their expertise in textile and IT sectors which could also be of great use in Iran.

He said ports of Cha Bahar and Gwadar should not be competing as cooperation would be more beneficial for the two countries. He called for good communication links and direct cargo flights to Iran without which trade could not flourish.

He noted that Pakistani exporters were facing various problems including visa and tariff as well as non-tariff barriers which had forced many to conduct trade through Turkey which increased cost of doing business by 15 to 20 per cent.

Iran should facilitate trade with Pakistan as involving third country hits competitive edge of their exporters in the market. He said the government should consider importing 5,000 megawatt of electricity from Iran which cost 1.5 billion dollars of investment which would revolutionise industrial sector and cost would be recovered within one year. Earlier, Abdul Rauf Alam signed an MOU with President of Iran Chamber of Commerce, Industries, Mines and Agriculture (ICCIMA) Mohsen Jallalpour for increased cooperation and establishment of Pakistan-Iran Chamber of Commerce.