Pakistan opens new border crossing with Iran to boost trade, tourism
Pakistan on Wednesday opened a new border crossing point with Iran to bolster economic and trade exchanges, according to local media.
The newly opened Pishin-Mand border was the third crossing point after Taftan and Gabd. The two countries inaugurated the Rimadan-Gabd border gateway in December last year, whereas the Taftan border has been operational for decades.
Located in Pakistan's southwest Balochistan province, near the country's Gwadar port, the Mand crossing point will not only facilitate import and export of goods with Iran, but also help reduce pressure on crossings in handling thousands of Pakistani pilgrims visiting Iran.
Speaking at an inaugural ceremony, Pakistan's Minister for Defense Production Zubaida Jalal termed the opening of the new crossing point with Iran historic for both countries.
"It will prove to be a milestone in providing employment and trade benefits to Pakistan, particularly for the people of Balochistan," she said, adding that the border gateways will also promote tourism in the area.
The ceremony was attended also by Iranian Minister for Road and Urban Development Mohammad Eslami.
Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi is currently in Iran on a three-day official visit to review bilateral relations with a view to further deepening cooperation in diverse fields with Iran.
Pakistani economic experts believe that the potential for trade between Pakistan and Iran is immense and Islamabad is taking keen interest in strengthening bilateral cooperation.
Currently, bilateral trade stood at 359 million U.S. dollars with Pakistan's exports to Iran amounting to 36 million U.S. dollars, and imports worth 323 million U.S. dollars, according to local reports.