Pakistan team to visit Iran soon for finalising gas deal


ISLAMABAD: National Iranian Gas Exporting Company Managing Director Ali Reza Kameli has announced that a Pakistani delegation will come to Tehran soon in a bid to finalise a gas agreement reached between the two countries during President Hassan Rouhani’s recent visit to Islamabad.

According to Iranian News Agency (Irna), Kameli highlighted the achievements of Rouhani’s visit, saying during parleys Iranian Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh discussed different economic issues as well as how to address the problems related to contracts for gas export to Pakistan, which resulted in a tacit agreement between the two neighbours.

“The two sides agreed to finalise the agreement during the upcoming trip of a Pakistani delegation to Iran in order to start gas exports to Pakistan,” he said. “We believe that gas contracts can consolidate economic and cultural relations given the emphasis laid by Rouhani on cooperation in gas supply to neighbouring countries, especially Pakistan.”

Quoting Central Bank of Iran Director General for International Affairs Hossein Yaqobi Miab, Irna said Bank Melli Iran would win permission in the next few days for opening its branches in Pakistan.

Miab revealed that Pakistani officials had promised that they would give the go-ahead as soon as they received a request from Bank Melli.

He told Irna that in the wake of implementation of a comprehensive plan of action, Iran and Pakistan had kicked off talks about forging banking cooperation keeping in view the fresh developments, which led to the finalisation of an agreement between the two sides.

Articles of the agreement are being applied, including the opening of Iranian central bank accounts in the State Bank of Pakistan, Iran’s entry into the Asian Clearing Union and setting up a joint banking committee comprising Iranian and Pakistani banks.

According to Miab, the SWIFT system has been put in place and now Iran and Pakistan will use their national systems to support bank credit cards, enabling citizens of both countries to use the ATM system for transactions.

A group of IT experts from the Central Bank of Iran is due to go on a trip to Pakistan to prepare the groundwork for sorting out technical details. “Four Pakistani banks are also eager to open branches in Iran,” he said.

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