Food Minister welcomes Iranian offer to waive off all tariff on agricultural exports to Iran from Pakistan
Naveed Ahmad Khan
ISLAMABAD: Ambassador of the Islamic Republic of Iran to Pakistan Seyyed Mohammad Ali Hosseini called on the Federal Minister of National Food Security Syed Fakhar Imam here on Tuesday. Secretary Ministry of National Food Security and Research Tahir Khursheed and Senior Joint Secretary Javed Humayun also attended the meeting.
Fakhar welcomed the Iranian offer to waive off all tariff on agricultural exports to Iran from Pakistan. Fakhar said that Pakistan has immense export potential with respect to citrus fruits, rice, mangoes, onion, potatoes, fisheries and livestock etc. He said that Pakistan can meet the entire demand of rice of Iran. Fakhar said that Pakistan has 8 Mn tonnes of rice which can be exported. Fakhar said that Pakistan exported appx 144,000 tonnes of mangoes internationally and hence its export to Iran also has huge potential. Secretary Ministry of National Food Security and Research Mr. Tahir Khursheed said that the extensive border between the two countries makes it ideal for trade of perishable goods.
Seyyed Mohammad Ali Hosseini said that Iran imports numerous agricultural products from Pakistan. He said that Iran imported 5,000 tonnes of citrus fruits from Pakistan. H.E. said that Iran also imports rice from Pakistan and has a substantial market for livestock, red meat, fisheries etc. Ambassador of Iran to Pakistan apprised the federal minister that Iran is exporting 104 MW electricity to Pakistan. H.E. said that Iran and Pakistan have a border of 900 km and both countries should take advantage of that to strengthen each other.
Fakhar Imam said that Iran has expertise in the floriculture sector and exchange of such expertise can benefit both countries. Ambassador of Iran to Pakistan Mr. Seyyed Mohammad Ali Hosseini offered to exchange Iran’s technical knowledge of flori-culture with Pakistan. Fakhar said that Netherlands has the biggest flori-culture production in the world which should be taken as an example in Pakistan.
Fakhar said that Pakistan faces a number of challenges but with the right policy interventions under the leadership of Prime Minister Imran Khan, agriculture sector can be transformed. He said that Pakistani agriculture has been tottering along the traditional agricultural techniques and it is time that we start to look ahead to the future in terms of modernization.
Fakhar Imam praised the current governments efforts and said that in the last 70 years the main set back to research was insufficient funds. This is the first time in the history of Pakistan that under Prime Minister Initiative Program billions of Rupees have been invested in agricultural research which has led to record production of wheat, maize and rice last year.
Federal Minister thanked the Ambassador and highlighted the cordial and friendly relations between the two countries since 1947. Fakhar said that Iran was the first country to recognize the state of Pakistan. Minister said that the two countries have shared history and literature.
He said that there is a bonhomie between the two people. He stated that the two countries should enhance and fine tune their mutual relation.