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Iran, Pakistan expand preferential trade agreement

Iran and Pakistan have relaxed tariffs to expand a preferential trade deal between the two countries.

Iran and Pakistan have relaxed tariffs on imports and exports of more goods as they seek to revive and expand a preferential trade agreement (PTA) that has unraveled in recent years mainly because of US sanctions on Iran.

Iran’s trade ministry spokesman Omid Qalibaf said on Tuesday that the number of goods subject to preferential trade between Iran and Pakistan had almost doubled under a 2022 tariff book agreed between the two countries.

Qalibaf said expanding the Iran-Pakistan PTA had come more than four years after US sanctions caused Iran to ban imports of around 2,000 goods, including many covered by the bilateral deal with Pakistan, as part of measure to control foreign currency resources in the country.

He said the expanded PTA between Iran and Pakistan allows for tariffs to be reduced on some 570 goods from Pakistan and some 750 goods from Iran.

An original PTA signed between the two countries in March 2004 had reduced tariffs on 309 goods from Pakistan and 338 goods from Iran, said the official.

Pakistan is the seventh largest customer of Iranian non-oil exports.

The country imported some $704 million worth of goods from Iran in the seven months to late October, according to figures by the Iranian customs office.

The figures show that Pakistan’s exports to Iran reached a total of $563 million over the same period.

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