Pakistan and Iran held talks on Sunday in Tehran on the proposed “barter trade deal”—a move which, if materialized—would be a major breakthrough in trade relations between the two countries.
A high-powered Pakistani delegation is visiting Iran. The delegation comprises Secretary, National Food Security and Research (NFS&R), Shafqat Hussain Nagmi; Managing Director of Pakistan Agricultural Storage and Services Corporation (PASSCO), Major General Sohail Shafkat, and other senior officials from the Ministry of Production, Ministry of Commerce and Ministry of Industries.
“We have offered one million tons of wheat to Iran, and in return, Tehran will provide U.S. fertilizers and iron ore. We had carried out laboratory tests of the wheat which are fine, and we are also taking its sample with us,” Naghmi told The News.
“We will discuss the pricing of these commodities which both the countries are willing to trade under barter arrangement,” he added.
Another official said that Pakistan is interested in taking 0.6 million tons of urea and 0.2 million tons of iron ore out of which 30,000 tons will be of lump ore and remaining as fine iron ore for the state-run Pakistan Steel Mills.
Gul Muhammad Rind, the Secretary of Ministry of Production, when contacted said: “This will be a big breakthrough in Pak-Iran trade if materialised as both the sides are very much enthusiastic for this deal which will benefit both the countries.” All the federal ministries are on same page and want to push this barter deal forward, he added.
The proposed arrangement was first discussed in February this year when President Asif Ali Zardari and Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad held a meeting in Islamabad. Both the leaders resolved to jack up Pak-Iran bilateral trade to $10 billion through barter system.
In the same month, Iranian Deputy Trade Minister Abbas Ghobadi also held meetings with top business community and senior government officials in Pakistan to step up work on this deal.
In his meeting with Water and Power Minister Syed Naveed Qamar, he had also expressed that Tehran was also interested in importing 0.2 million tons of rice from Pakistan
Pakistan, Iran holding talks on barter trade - Tehran Times