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Iran, Pakistan sign MoU to expand trade ties

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
Iran and Pakistan sign a key MoU to cooperate on expansion of trade ties.

Iran and Pakistan have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to boost bilateral efforts that could lead to a quick expansion of trade ties between the two neighboring countries.

The MoU was signed on Monday on the sidelines of an Iranian trade exhibition in the Pakistani city of Karachi between head of Iran’s Trade Promotion Organization (TPO) Alireza Paymanpak and head of The Trade Development Authority of Pakistan Muhammad Zubair Motiwala.

The agreement allows Iran and Pakistan to exchange trade information while enabling businesses to increase their presence in trade events held in the two countries, according to a report published on the TPO’s website.

It said the MoU will also facilitate the exchange of trade delegations and experts between Iran and Pakistan, adding that trade authorities of the two countries will be committed under the agreement to holding training courses for businesses involved in bilateral trade.

Peymanpak expressed hope upon signing the document that it could help Iran and Pakistan soon reach a target of $5 billion in bilateral trade.

The signing of the MoU comes days after local authorities in border regions of Iran and Pakistan signed an agreement to boost cross-border trade and people-to-people exchanges between the two countries.

It also comes amid Iran’s continued efforts to expand trade ties with neighbors as the country moves ahead with plans to diversify its economy away from oil revenues targeted by US sanctions.

Iran and Pakistan are currently on a preferential trade arrangement under which the two countries have sought to reduce some trade barriers and tariffs in recent years.

Media reports have suggested the two countries are seeking to sign a free trade agreement by March.

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