Currency swap between Pakistan, Iran urged

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KARACHI: Union of Small and Medium Enterprises (Unisame) asked Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to discuss currency swap agreement implementation between Iran and Pakistan during his upcoming visit to Iran.Unisame urged the Premier to conclude the shelved agreement initiated by the previous governments in both the countries on his visit to Iran for promotion of bilateral trade between the two countries.A currency swap or alternate arrangement for transaction settlement between the two countries will promote bilateral trade and Pakistan is also a buyer of Iranian goods of food items, chemicals and petroleum products and by products.India has made arrangements for smooth transfers between Iran and India and has been successful in exporting and importing to and from Iran and has pushed its rice in Iranian markets replacing Pakistani rice much liked in Iran.Unisame office bearers said Iran has been a big buyer of Pakistani rice since decades and the Pakistani fine rice was in great demand in Iran because of its length, look and aroma.Unfortunately transaction difficulties are created due to remittance facilities blocked because of sanctions. There is no bar on export and import of food and medicines yet transaction of food items were also disabled technically as swift the international facilitator for money transfers declined to receive or remit funds to and from Iran.Due to loss of Iranian market the Pakistani rice exporters are unable to achieve their targets for superior rice purchased by Iran and as a result it is reflecting on the farmers who due to lack of demand will switch over to other lucrative crops. This will be a great blow to our rice exports and rice industry as a whole.Unisame thanked Qazi Habib ur Rahman the Consul in Mashad Iran for informing the Union of rice sellers and union of importers about the revised procedures of registration of source, production code numbers and packing requirements and welcomed the delegation from Iran who intends to visit Pakistan to inspect the soil.Qazi in his message said the Iranian government was expected to send a delegation of experts for soil testing of rice production fields and related facilities and it was therefore necessary to take steps to safeguard our exports like control over soil, water pollution in rice processing areas through sewerage waste water from tanneries and other units.

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