LAHORE: Trade Development Authority of Pakistan (TDAP) Secretary Inamullah Dharejo has said that bilateral trade with Iran is unlikely to see a surge in volume as no Pakistani bank is ready to open its branch in the country due to international sanctions on Tehran.
“The State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) is also involved in this matter, but to date there has been no major breakthrough to increase trade volume,” Dharejo said on Thursday, while talking to media on the sidelines of a consultative session on the Strategic Trade Policy Framework (2018-2023).
He said the only option is barter trade, but its scope would be limited due to non-presence of banking channels.
“Afghanistan, on the other hand, is a big trading partner and a key country for Pakistan for regional connectivity. Unfortunately, political tension between the two countries is the biggest impediment in implementing trade policy.”
Talking about the widening trade deficit, he said that the government is already focusing on the ‘Look Africa’ initiative to increase its export volume. The 16 countries targeted under this initiative are projected to have a $10-trillion growth trajectory in the future, he added.
Earlier, Dharejo said that the government is endeavouring to formulate a medium-term trade policy framework for enhancing exports on a sustainable basis by incorporating suggestions of the business community.
Published in The Express Tribune, January 26th, 2018.
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