The Ambassador of the Islamic Republic of Iran to Pakistan said getting Iran’s Chabahar and Pakistan’s Gwadar ports linked will strengthen bilateral trade and bring prosperity to the region.
Ambassador Seyed Mohammad Ali Hosseini during an interview with Pakistani newspaper ‘Business Recorder’ said Gwadar and Chabahar are two important ports, adding that if they become more active, the two ports will bring regional progress and prosperity.
“Some are trying to present these two ports as competitors to each other, while we do not take it as a competition but a compliment to each other,” he asserted, adding that the potential of the two ports could be utilized better by connectivity through rails.
He said Pakistan was working on the infrastructure of Gwadar port to boost economic activities, while Iran had also specific programs to make Chabahar port more active.
He said Iran had announced its readiness to provide electricity for Gwadar port.
“We believe more progress of these ports will bring prosperity in the region and the trade volume will also increase automatically. In fact, we see progress and security of Pakistan as progress and security of Iran,” the Iranian envoy said.
He said the people of the two countries, especially at the border side can take benefit from the trade activity.
At present, he said the trade volume between Pakistan and Iran was $1.3 billion, but due to Covid-19, the volume went down as the pandemic had badly affected the overall economic situation across the world. In view of existing potential, he added that the two-way trade could be increased even further.
He identified various fields for the investment between the two countries, such as energy, gas, electricity, and oil, adding, that Iran had very good potential in the energy sector. “We can have a significant amount of exports in these areas to Pakistan,” he added.
About the Iran-Pakistan gas pipeline project, the Iranian envoy said the IP gas pipeline project was signed between Iran and Pakistan in 2009, adding that Iran had undertaken its part of work despite illegal US sanctions and other economic pressure and constraints. “We are looking forward to Pakistan to fulfill the commitment in this regard. If we can execute this investment project, there are a lot of other fields in which we can have growth in the areas,” he added.
At the moment, he said Iran was exporting a small amount of electricity to Pakistan, adding that his country had already announced its readiness to export more electricity to Pakistan.
In other fields such as tourism, health, and pilgrim tourism, he said that the two sides could have the investment to boost and increase the number of traveling passengers to both the countries.
“The future of Pakistan-Iran bilateral relations is very bright as the motive and resolve of the leadership along with the interest of people of these countries is that they should boost their relationship in various fields despite the enemies and ill-wishers of the two countries,” he added.