Iranian government also wishes to boost bilateral trade with Pakistan up to $5 billion.
PKonweb Report (Islamabad) — Iran has expressed its desire to become part of the multi-billion dollar China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) which is ideally located at the node of Central and South Asia and poised to provide ‘cross-continental-connectivity’ among regional states.
The development took place on Thursday during a meeting of Iranian Ambassador to Pakistan Mehdi Honardoost with members of the Pak-Iran Joint Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Quetta.
Pak-Iran Joint Chamber of Commerce and Industry President Haji Wali Noorzai, Iranian Consul General Agha Muhammad Rafiee, QCCI President Haji Jumma Badezai and members of the trade community were present.
“We believe CPEC is a very important and giant project which can greatly impact peace and cooperation among countries in the region,” said the ambassador. “Iran is an important country in the region with great potential and capabilities like transit line and all other resources.”
Honardoost even went as far as saying that “may be without the energy and transit support of Iran, the multi-billion dollar project will not reach its final stage”.
“We are ready to be a part of CPEC with all our capabilities and resources,” he added.
To a query regarding Saudi Arabia’s investment plan near the Iran border, Honardoost said, “Regional cooperation is one of the best ways to overcome poverty and other problems in the region and we are optimistic that one day cooperation and interaction among all countries will come to one point.
During the meeting, the Iranian envoy assured full cooperation in increasing trade with Pakistan. “Due to American sanctions, Pak-Iran trade will take time to strengthen, but the Iranian government is willing to boost bilateral trade with Pakistan up to $5 billion,” the envoy said.
Observers say with Saudi, UAE announcement of investments in Pakistan, and Iran and Afghanistan’s keenness to join CPEC, Pakistan could become the center of region’s economic gravity within couple of years.