Agricultural trade: Pakistan and Iran agree to sign MoU

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Pakistan and Iran have agreed to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for the promotion of bilateral agricultural trade. This was discussed in the 4th meeting of Pak-Iran Joint Working Group (JWG) on Agricultural Co-operation recently held here at the Pakistan Agricultural Research Council (Parc). The meeting was chaired by Dr Iftikhar Ahmed Chairman, Parc where both sides signed agreed minutes of the meeting.

Both sides reviewed the plan and made changes towards increasing co-operation and agreed to provide required information to focal point as per the work plan. Iran is willing to convene the 4th meeting of the JWG on agriculture on the sidelines of the 18th session of Joint Economic Commission (JEC).

Matters relating to trade in agricultural products, implementation of plant quarantine agreement, the establishment of required plant quarantine offices, plant protection and other areas of mutual interest in the fields of agriculture and livestock will be discussed and finalised in the forthcoming meeting.

Iran is importing about 150,000 tons of frozen meat for its domestic requirement from other countries and willing to import it from Pakistan. Recently Iran has shown interest in importing live animals and meat from Pakistan. In this connection an MoU was finalised and likely to be signed in the JWC after codal formalities. Further, co-operation on modification/updating of Phytosanitary requirements for export of agricultural products to Iran, Pakistan quarantine offices are available at the strategic points on Pakistan side, while four plant quarantine offices have already been established on the Iranian side. Iran will identify more points for entry where establishment of offices is needed. Besides this 19 cold treatment storage and hot water treatment plants have been approved by the Iranian authorities for the cold treatment of Kinnow and hot water treatment for mango for issuance of phytosanitary certificate to be used during agricultural products trade.

Dr Iftikhar Ahmed speaking on the occasion reiterated that Pakistan was keen to strengthen co-operation between the two brotherly countries in the field of agricultural development and trade in agricultural products. He assured the Iranian delegation that Pakistan would take all the necessary steps for the implementation of the modified work plan agreed between the two sides at the 3rd meeting of the JWG held in Tehran in June 2008. He asked the delegates of both countries to design pragmatic plan to strengthen co-operation in the field of agricultural products trade.

The Pakistan delegation was led by Dr Nadeem Amjad, Member (Plant Sciences), Parc and Iranian side was led by Engineer Seyed Rahmatullah Parichehr, General Director of Fruit Affairs, Islamic Republic of Iran. On this occasion Eng Seyed Rahmatullah Parichehr reciprocated the sentiments of goodwill and commitment expressed by the head of delegation of Pakistan for furtherance of agricultural co-operation between the two countries.

Proposal for agreement of co-operation on veterinary and animal health between the two countries was discussed in the working group and it was decided to follow it up for preliminary approval of the JWG and its finalisation on completion of relevant codal formalities.

It is to be noted that the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed between Iran and Pakistan in March 2004, agreement signed in February 2005 and the agreed technical procedure for issuance of Phytosanitary Certificates (PCs) for the export of mango and kinnow from Pakistan.

The respective delegations included Engineer Seyed Rahmatullah Parichehr, Head of the Iranian Working Group on Agriculture, Engineer Ali Akbar Yaseen, Deputy Chief, Quarantine and Control Department of Plant Protection, Dr Ebrahim Molayemi, Official Incharge, International Working Group of the Veterinary Organisation and Mr Mehdi Ghasemi, International Department of the Ministry of Jihad-e-Keshavarzi had a meeting with Pakistan counter parts and from Pakistan side Dr Nadeem Amjad, Member(PSD), PARC, Mr Allah Rakha Aasi, DG, Department of Plant Protection, Karachi, Mr Amjad Hussain, Joint Scientific Advisor, MoST, Muhammad Maqsood Khan, Dy Secretary (Export), Ministry of Commerce and Mr Muhammad Anwar Khan, Section Officer, Economic Affairs Division, Islamabad and Senior Agri. Scientists of Parc/Narc.

Courtesy: Business Recorder

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