President SAARC Chamber of Commerce and Industry Iftikhar Ali Malik has said that Pakistan’s prudent decision of barter trade with Afghanistan and Iran would further strengthen trilateral trade relations and foster existing economic ties among the three neighbouring Muslim countries. Talking to a delegation of traders led by Waqas Anjum which called on him, he said it is a good wisdom-based decision of the government to allow imports and exports under barter trade with both countries to promote trade with regional states. He said barter trade has tremendous importance to strengthen regional trade connectivity and to do with foreign exchange and other challenges confronted by the regional countries. He said it is a good point to note that the Pakistan government has amended the relevant part of import and export policy orders 2020 to launch barter trade under the arrangements finalized after taking stakeholders into confidence. He termed the decision a welcoming development because it was being pursued by all relevant stakeholders of all three countries in true letter and spirit to derive the desired results of economic cooperation and prosperity of the people of the region. Malik hoped that the appropriate mechanism of barter trade would be placed in action and finalised by the authorities of Iran and Pakistan. He said a special desk has been established at SAARC Chamber headquarters to facilitate the traders of member countries especially for Afghanistan. A member of the delegation, former president of Lahore Chamber and Chairman Rice Exporters Association of Pakistan (REAP) Shahzad Ali Malik said the decision will provide ample opportunity to our export to Iran especially of rice including Guard rice which is in great demand that’s very popular being best in taste worldwide. He urged the private sector including regional chambers to move forward to take full advantage of the big opportunity. He said REAP welcomed the step and termed it a constructive stride in the right direction to foster the barter trade, he added.