1020 GMT December 04, 2020
The decision was announced during a high-level meeting chaired by Prime Minister Imran Khan in Islamabad, reported Tasnim News Agency.
Twelve markets will be established along the Afghanistan border and six at border areas with Iran, according to a proposal plan, said a statement from the prime minister’s office.
Khan, however, initially approved a pilot project to establish three markets.
“These three markets, two along with Iran and one at Afghan border areas, will be completed and activated by February 2021,” Khan told officials at the meeting that included Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi, Chief of Army Staff Gen. Qamar Javed Bajwa, adviser to the prime minister on finance, Abdul Hafeez Sheikh, and other senior officials.
The markets will provide better business and trade opportunities to the residents living along the border, Khan said.
Iran and Pakistan agreed in February to develop a mechanism for the electronic exchange of bilateral trade data in a bid to curb misreporting.
On February 11, officials from Pakistan’s Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) and Iran Customs Administration signed a memorandum of understanding on the electronic exchange of data.
Under the agreement, the two neighbors would trade documents on a real-time basis for exports of goods and advance information on goods and passengers at Taftan-Mirjaveh and other border stations.
FBR Acting Chairperson Nausheen Javaid Amjad said accurate valuation of imported goods will lead to the realization of greater revenues.
The implementation of the MoU would ensure availability of advance information about values, descriptions and quality of the goods to be imported into Pakistan from Iran and reduce costs on the clearance of goods at the borders, she said.
Pakistan exports paper and paperboard, rice and stationery products to Iran, while it imports liquefied petroleum gas, other mineral fuels and electrical energy from Iran.
Iran sells 1,000 megawatts of electricity to Pakistan and plans to increase this up to 3,000 megawatts to cover some 4,000 megawatts of shortfall in the country.