Lahore: The LCCI President Abdul Basit has said that restriction of illegal trade between Iran and Pakistan can give considerable boost to the mutual trade volume. While talking to an Iranian delegation, led by Mohsen Heidarian, here at the Lahore Chamber of Commerce, the LCCI President said that illegal trade should be treated with iron hands as it is not only damaging the local industries but also causing huge loss to the exchequers of the two countries. The LCCI former President Syed Mohsin Raza Bukhari, LCCI Executive Committee Members Mian Zahid Jawaid Ahmed, Mian Abdul Razzaq and Moazzam Rasheed, members of the delegation Mohsen Varzeshkar and M. S. Attarseyedi from Jey Oil Refinery Company, Iran also spoke on the occasion.
Abdul Basit informed the visiting delegation that Oil refineries in Pakistan are doing quite well despite considerable fall in international oil prices. Its main reason is that there has been no decline in demand of Petroleum products. He said that Pakistan requires more than 22 million tons oil annually and it would take time to achieve complete self-sufficiency. He said that there is great scope for Iranian companies to consider Pakistan for either exporting petroleum products or setting up oil refineries in collaboration with their Pakistani counterparts.
The LCCI President said that China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) project is well underway and it is expected that the demand of petroleum products will certainly raise keeping in view the projected increase in logistic activities all across the country. He said that Iran has already shown interest to get actively involved in CPEC projects, so, any Iranian companies will be facilitated on priority by concerned government departments.
He said that Pakistan and Iran are two brotherly countries. Therefore, maximum efforts are needed to strengthen their relations in all fields. He said both the sides need to conduct Market research to further strengthen trade relations between the two countries. Priority should be given to each other for import of goods rather than buying from distant countries. Collaboration in SMEs and mega projects like onshore and offshore oil & gas exploration activities, hydel and coal based energy projects, paper & board, sugar, cement, chemicals, transport & communication, construction of roads in Pakistan, scientific & educational cooperation, handicrafts, artificial jewellery, carpets, fancy furniture etc. Members of the Iranian delegation spoke about the prospects of trade and investment opportunities between the two countries and particularly threw light on the oil sector of Iran.