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Iran starts coal exports to Pakistan: Businessman

Iran starts supplying coal to Pakistan as the country grapples with the aftermath of devastating floods.

Iran has started exports of coal to Pakistan, says a senior businessman, as the flood-hit country struggles with the aftermath of devastating floods that affected its energy production infrastructure.

Ali Rigi Mirjaveh, a member of Iran-Pakistan Joint Chamber of Commerce, said on Tuesday that no caps are currently being considered on exports of coal from Iran to Pakistan.

Rigi Mirjaveh said, however, that Iranian coal exports to Pakistan could amount to 0.5 million metric tons per year.

Iran’s supply of coal to its eastern neighbor comes after floods in Pakistan destroyed a significant part of the country’s energy infrastructure and left many power plants short of fuels.

Rigi Mirjaveh said the Pakistani government has instructed businesses and traders to expand their imports of goods from Iran, adding that bilateral trade between the two neighbors could nearly triple in value terms in the near future to reach $5 billion per year.

He made the remarks in an interview with the semi-official ILNA news agency. However, the businessman said a barter trade mechanism between Iran and Pakistan has yet to be fully implemented to allow the two countries to significantly expand their trade ties.

Rigi Mirjaveh said Iran normally supplies petroleum products and agricultural goods to Pakistan in return for imports of rice and fruits from the country.

He said large-scale exports of apple and grape from Iran to Pakistan will start next month under a barter deal which allows imports of Pakistani kinnow to Iran.

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