Pakistan, Iran agree to bolster trade, economic ties; decide to open two additional border crossings

Founder Editor Tazeen Akhtar..
Islamabad (Staff Reporter) Pakistan and Iran  agreed to further bolster their bilateral relations in diverse areas of trade, economy and energy, besides deciding to open two additional crossing points along their border to encourage and facilitate trade and people-to-people contacts.
"Our trade and economic ties have suffered due to sanctions. We have agreed to strengthen our bilateral ties in diverse areas of trade, economy and energy," Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif said while addressing a joint press stakeout alongwith Iranian President Hassan Rouhani here at the PM House, on friday, 25 March.
Earlier, Prime Minister Sharif and President Rouhani held one-on-one and delegation level talks during which the two sides held wide range of discussions on bilateral as well as regional and international issues of mutual interest.
After the talks, the two leaders also witnessed the signing of six Memoranda of Understanding (MoUs) including the one described as "Five Year Strategic Trade Cooperation Plan".
The Prime Minister said the two sides also decided to open two additional crossing points along their border to encourage trade and economic interaction as well as to facilitate the people-to-people contacts.
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif said Pakistan and Iran enjoy close and fraternal ties which were rooted in the shared history of culture and religion.
He said it was his third meeting with the Iranian President in less than three years, which depicted depth and warmth of their relations.
The Prime Minister said during the one-on-one and delegations talks, they discussed wide range of issues including the bilateral relations as well as the matters of regional and international importance.
Nawaz Sharif expressed his confidence that the relations between Pakistan and Iran will continue to grow from strength to strength for the mutual benefit of the two countries.
The Prime Minister said Hassan Rouhani's election as President of Iran depicted the confidence of the people of Iran in his leadership.He also extended Nauroz greetings to the Iranian President and his delegation.
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said the two sides discussed diversification of trade and economic relations and the ways and means to explore new opportunities of cooperation in energy sector including the export of electricity from Iran to Pakistan.
He said the two sides also deliberated on the ways to boost bilateral trade by means of preferential trade and move forward for a free trade agreement between Pakistan and Iran.
The Iranian President said the two sides also explored the possibility of sea trade through Pakistan's Gwadar Port and Iran's Chahbahar Port.He said Pakistan and Iran consider each other's security as their own security, adding, there was a will and resolve of the two countries to combat extremist and terrorist groups and not to allow such elements to shatter peace in the region.
The Iranian President said the two sides also need to enhance cultural relations as well as regional cooperation.He stressed for political solutions of regional problems and conflicts.
President Rouhani also extended greetings to the people and government of Pakistan as well as Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on
Pakistan Day.
 Pakistan and Iran Friday signed six Memoranda of Understanding to strengthen bilateral cooperation in multiple fields including health, commerce,
finance and foreign services.
Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif and Iranian President Dr Hassan Rouhani witnessed the signing ceremony held at the PM House after the delegation level talks between the two countries.
Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif and Iranian President Rouhani led their respective delegations during the talks.
Both the countries signed MoU for cooperation between Pakistan's Foreign Service Academy and Iran's School of International Relations. Adviser to PM on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz and Iranian Foreign Minister Javed Zarif represented their countries respectively.
Pakistan and Iran inked MoU for Cooperation and Information Exchange between Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan Central Insurance of Iran. The MoU was signed by Finance Minister Ishaq Dar and Iran's Interior Minister and Head of Joint Economic Commission Abdul Reza
Rahmani Fazli.
The two countries also signed MoU on Five Year Strategic Trade Cooperation Plan. Pakistan's Minister for Commerce Khurram Dastgir and Iranian Minister for Industries, Mine and Commerce Mohammad Nematzadeh respected their countries respectively.
Both the countries also inked MoU for cooperation on Health Research, Training, Medicine and Medical Technology. Minister of State for National Health Services Saira Afzal Tarar signed the MoU from Pakistani side while Minister for Health Dr Seyyed Hassan Hashemi represented Iran.
The two countries signed another MoU in order to extend cooperation between Federation of Pakistan Chamber of Commerce and Industries and Chamber of Commerce, Industries, Mines and Agriculture of Iran. President FPCCI Abdur Rauf Alam signed the MoU from Pakistani side while President ICCMI represented Iran.
Pakistan and Iran also signed MoU on cooperation between the Institute for Political and International Studies of Iran and Karachi Council on Foreign Relations (KCFR) of Pakistan.The document was signed Secretary General KCFR and Iranian Ambassador Honardoost.
Earlier, the two leaders led their respective delegations in the delegation level talks and discussed ways to strengthen cooperation in multiple fields.
Minister for Finance Ishaq Dar, Minister for Commerce Khurram Dastgir, Minister for Climate Change Zahid Hamid, Minister for Petroleum and Natural Resources Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, Adviser to PM on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz and Special Assistant to PM Tariq Fatemi comprised the Pakistani
The Iranian delegation comprised their ministers for foreign affairs, trade and commerce.