islamabad - Finance Minister Senator Ishaq Dar on Saturday said that Pakistan and Iran need to build mutual confidence to overcome the impediments in barter trade and commodity exchanges facilities, enabling the two countries to benefit from their proximity and neighborhood.

He said this while chairing an inter-ministerial meeting on facilitating Pakistan-Iran trade, within the ambit of UN sanctions.

The finance minister said that during the Prime Minister’s visit to Iran, both the sides had reaffirmed their commitment that while remaining within the ambit of UN sanctions, mutual trade and cooperation will be enhanced with barter trade and commodities exchange mechanism.

Ishaq Dar said that we need to clear the impediments in mutual trade before the holding of Joint Economic Commission which is scheduled in this quarter. The two sides will discuss about 50 agenda items at the upcoming JEC meeting and implementation of the outstanding agenda items by both sides will result in strengthening of economic ties between the two countries and bilateral trade. The meeting was informed that the western countries negotiations with Iran are also at an advanced stage of settlement and we should be well prepared and adopt a common approach to tackle issues related to Pakistan-Iran trade. The finance minister directed the Finance Secretary to hold a meeting of all the stakeholders and suggest practical measures to move forward on barter trade and opening of border crossings between the two countries. It was further decided that the Ministry of Commerce and TCP will review the exportable surplus of various commodities in consultation with the Iranian side and present a report in a follow up meeting to be held in the third week of this month.

Finance Secretary Dr.Waqar Masood, Governor State Bank, Ashraf Wathra, Foreign Secretary, Aizaz Ahmed Chaudhry, Shahzad Arbab, Commerce Secretary, Rana Assad Amin, Economic Advisor to Finance Ministry and senior officials of the Ministries of Commerce, Finance and TCP also attended the meeting.