‘Iran-Pakistan trade rises despite US sanctions’
A Pakistani minister says trade levels with Iran have increased over the past few years despite US sanctions imposed against the Islamic Republic over its nuclear energy program.
“The balance of trade USD 410.438 million remained in favor of Iran [in 2010-2011]. During the last few years there has generally been a positive trend in trade relations between Pakistan and Iran,” Pakistani Federal Minister for Commerce Makhdoom Amin Fahim said.
Islamabad exports to Tehran stood at USD 161.941 million in 2010-11, whereas imports from Iran accounted for USD 572.379 million, Pakistan’s biggest financial daily Business Recorder reported on Saturday.
Amin Fahim said Pakistan’s major exports to Iran in 2010-11 include rice, fruit, chemical material and products, cotton fabric, and manufactures of non-ferrous metals.
Pakistan’s major imports from Iran during the same period were petroleum, chemical compounds, chemical material and products, machinery and its parts, and ores and concentrates of iron, he said.
Earlier in January, Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari said Islamabad would not limit trade relations with Iran “because of the political whims of any outside power.”
Pakistan has no choice but to seek greater ties with its neighbors – Iran, China, India and Afghanistan – “because the economies of the West are in trouble and not in a position to help us,” Zardari added.
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