Realising Iran-Pakistan trade potential

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As has been noted in this space before, the lifting of sanctions on Iran is a highly welcome development both for the world and the region. It has made the world relatively less prone to violence and wars, and reasonably more open to trade. Being one of its closest neighbours and sharing a common border, culture and faith, one would have thought it was but natural for Pakistan to develop deep-rooted trade and economic relations with Iran. However, even before the imposition of sanctions, the bilateral trade between the two had never crossed the $1 billion mark. The main reason for such an insignificant trade relationship between the two is the fact that both have been, traditionally, essentially importing countries and their exports had remained confined to commodities like oil in the case of Iran and cotton textiles and rice in the case of Pakistan.