Iran, Pakistan to Finalize Free Trade Deal by November

Financial Tribune – Pakistan and Iran have decided to strike a deal on trade despite slow or no progress regarding the implementation of a payment mechanism and the Iran-Pakistan gas pipeline project.

Both sides have decided to finalize the proposed free trade agreement before November 2017, the Pakistani newspaper Dawn reported.

The trade negotiating committee of the two countries has already held two rounds of discussions on FTA and is scheduled to meet by November to put the final touches to the agreement. It is projected that the agreement will increase the 2016 bilateral trade worth $300 million to $5 billion by 2021.

 “We have almost finalized the draft of FTA,” a trade officer of the commerce ministry said, adding that the next meeting is expected to reach an understanding on the remaining issues.

The non-availability of a payment mechanism casts a shadow on the viability of the much-awaited agreement.

In April 2017, State Bank of Pakistan’s deputy governor visited Iran and signed a banking payment agreement. Under this agreement, the central banks of the two countries will have to authorize banks for undertaking trade transactions.

Date : Tuesday 10 October 2017 / Subject : Economic News - International News / Source : Financial Tribune