03 August 2017
TEHRAN (CBI PR Dept.) – CBI Governor: “In order to develop deep economic relations, Iranian and Pakistani banks need to open bank branches in their respective countries”.
In a meeting with Asif Durrani, Pakistani Ambassador to Iran, Valiollah Seif, the CBI governor, emphasized the expansion of ties based on the signed MoU with Ashraf Mahmood Wathra, the former Governor of the State Bank of Pakistan. “According to the agreed Bilateral Payment Arrangement (BPA), Iran is prepared to facilitate trade between the two countries by making settlements through joint accounts and using local currencies.”, he added.
CBI’s highest ranking official introduced banking ties as the prerequisite for mutually fruitful trade relations and asked for utilization of the profound political ties in order to expand the current level of economic co operations. “The current volume of trade is much lower than what is expected”, said Seif while Durrani concurred and added that both Iranian and Pakistani officials want the trade volume to reach $5 billion.
“About two months ago, the State Bank of Pakistan issued a communique and informed Pakistani banks of the MoU signed with CBI in mid-April last year”, Asif Durrani said in response to Iranian Central Banker and continued, “We expect the same measure to be taken by the central bank of Iran so as to expedite the implementation of the said MoU.”
It was announced in this meeting that both Iranian and Pakistani banks are keen to open branches in each other’s countries. “At least one bank from each country would start their operations on the other’s soil” proposed Seif to Pakistani Ambassador. He also mentioned that Bank Melli has already obtained the necessary permit from the central bank to start operating in Pakistan. “Habib Bank of Pakistan seems interested in opening branches in Iran. CBI Welcomes this idea and is prepared to grant the necessary permissions,” CBI Governor added.
Asif Durrani conveyed that both the large and multinational Habib Bank and UBL (United Bank Limited) are eager to open branches in Iran. “Both of these banks have had representative offices in Iran for years”, he added, “They have active branches in many regions of the world and we hope that they can open their branches in Iran as well.”
In his meeting with the Pakistani Ambassador, Seif also discussed CBI’s agenda to integrate Iran’s national card payment switch with those of banking systems in some countries and expressed the desire to arrange the same banking partnership with Pakistan.
“Recently, Iran has connected its national card payment switch with Russia and negotiations are being made Qatar, Oman and Turkey in this regard” said Seif proposing connection of Iran-Pakistan card payments switches based on the two countries dominant policies and laws.
Pointing to joint membership of the two countries in the Asian Clearing Union, Seif stated, “We appreciate re-activating this agreement to facilitate settlement of multilateral trade exchanges between the members of ACU.”