By the Blouin News Business staff

Iran-Pakistan ties on the rise after sanctions lifted

by in Asia-Pacific.

Iran's president, Hassan Rouhani. (Source: World Economic Forum/flickr)

Iran’s president, Hassan Rouhani. (Source: World Economic Forum/flickr)

Iran and Pakistan have their sights set on massively increasing bilateral trade and infrastructure links. On Saturday, at the conclusion of a two-day summit, the two governments signed a number of agreements, whose capstone is a plan to boost bilateral trade from some $270 million per year now to $5 billion by 2021. Prior to the imposition of tighter Western sanctions against Iran over its nuclear program, bilateral trade between Tehran and Islamabad was notably higher: $1.32 billion in 2008-09.

Since January, when most Western sanctions against Iran were lifted as part of the nuclear deal sealed last summer, Iran has been rebuilding old economic ties and cultivating new ones. “Iran has the capability to help the development of the economic infrastructure of Pakistan including roads, railways, dams, and others,” said Iranian President Hassan Rouhani at Saturday’s Pakistan-Iran Business Forum. The two countries also signed a MoU on banking cooperation, which included reintegrating Iran into the Asian Clearing Union (along with Pakistan, India, and Bangladesh).

A top priority is increasing Iran’s electricity exports to energy-starved Pakistan, which currently total only…

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