ISLAMABAD: In a move to increase more legal trade between the two neighboring countries, Pakistan and Iran are going to open Pishin Border for trade on May 18, 2023. The inauguration of the new border is scheduled to be attended by the Prime Minister of Pakistan and the President of Iran.
Pishin is a border region located towards the Northwestern part of the 904 km long Pak-Iran border. Last year, 9 border markets were approved to be opened in the Pishin Border region on the Pakistan side. It may be mentioned here that The Mand-Pishin crossing is located in the Balochistan province of Pakistan and the Sistan and Baluchestan province of Iran.
Earlier Pakistan had also requested the facilitation of legal channels to increase bilateral trade between the two nations and discourage the flooding of illicit goods from Iran.
According to officials, the move is aimed at boosting bilateral trade between the two neighboring countries and discouraging the flow of illicit goods from Iran. The opening of the border is expected to facilitate smoother movement of goods and people, further enhancing economic cooperation.
During a meeting held between Vahid Jalalzadeh, Chairman of the Commission of National Security and Foreign Policy of the Majlis of Iran, and Syed Naveed Qamar, Federal Minister for Commerce, the two sides discussed the formalities and arrangements regarding the opening of the border.
The opening of the Pishin Border for legal trade holds immense significance in promoting trade and connectivity between the two countries. The move is expected to create a positive impact on the economy of both countries, generate employment opportunities, and contribute to regional stability.
This border crossing is mainly used for trade in fresh fruits and vegetables. There are several informal crossings along the porous Pakistan-Iran border. These informal crossings are primarily used by smugglers to transport goods such as oil, food items etc. The opening of the Pishin border for legal trade is expected to reduce the flow of illicit goods and promote legal trade between the two countries.
As per details, the meeting on Wednesday also focused on exploring new avenues of collaboration in the fields of aviation and trade. Chairman Jalalzadeh proposed the initiation of direct flights between Iran and Pakistan to enhance travel and business opportunities. Minister Qamar acknowledged the significance of this proposal and expressed his support for establishing direct flights as a means to facilitate trade and promote people-to-people exchanges.
The discussions also touched upon the long-standing issue of the Pak-Iran Gas Pipeline. Minister Qamar stressed the importance of expediting the project, as it holds immense potential for energy cooperation between the two countries. He pledged his commitment to resolve any obstacles and move forward with the pipeline, which would bring substantial benefits to both nations.
Recognizing the current trade volume of approximately $2 billion as insufficient, Chairman Jalalzadeh urged the need to take solid steps to increase it to a multi-billion-dollar level. The Federal Minister for Commerce echoed this sentiment and emphasized the importance of opening new border markets and implementing a barter trade system to facilitate greater commercial exchange. These measures, he believed, would contribute to a significant surge in trade volume between Iran and Pakistan.
As a sign of further bilateral cooperation, Chairman Jalalzadeh extended an invitation to the Commerce Minister to visit Iran. The discussions between the two sides showcased the shared commitment of Iran and Pakistan to foster closer ties in the realms of aviation and trade.