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Iran offers electricity to Pakistan

Oct 7, 2008 - Asia Pulse Data Source

Iran Tuesday showed its willingness to export electricity to Pakistan and agreed to enhance bilateral cooperation in all economic fields. Iranian Ambassador to Pakistan Mashaallah Shakiri held a meeting with Deputy Chairman Planning Commission Salman Faruqui. It was agreed that bilateral cooperation in various sectors including energy, railways, roads and trade would be enhanced. The Iranian Ambassador stated that his country was ready to export electricity to Pakistan. He also apprised that Iran was already working on Sahara Hydel Power Project on the river Chenab and raised its capacity from initially proposed 65 megawatts to 130 megawatts through Independent Power Producer.

The Deputy Chairman PC said that Pakistan was interested in importing electricity from Iran as it was currently facing power shortage. He suggested bilateral negotiations to work out the modalities related to price and transmission. The Ambassador said that the present volume of trade between the two countries showed that the bilateral trade potential was untapped. The volume of trade between Iran and other regional countries was significantly higher than that of Iran and Pakistan. According to him one of the main problems was lack of physical as well as institutional connectivity between the two countries. He proposed to establish Pak-Iran Joint Shipping Company that would enhance connectivity leading to increase in bilateral trade.

He also showed his countrys interest in enhancing cooperation in banking sector by opening branches of banks in each others countries on reciprocal basis. The Deputy Chairman PC appreciated the proposal of establishing a Joint Shipping Company to boost maritime cooperation and mutual trade, and promised to examine the proposal.

Pakistan National Shipping Company would be asked to look into this matter, he further said.

Faruqui also underlined the importance of modern railroad between Quetta and Taftan.

For this purpose, he said funds could be raised together with Iran and by using the forum of Economic Cooperation Organisation or Islamic Bank. Both the sides agreed to increase cooperation in health services and pharmaceutical sector as well.

Faruqui informed the Ambassador that PC had good mutual relationships with its Indian and Chinese counterparts and wanted the same level of institutional interaction with Iran. The Ambassador appreciated this proposal and assured that Iran would welcome such institutional linkage, as it would further enhance business-to-business contacts for regional development.

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