Pakistan Barter Decree to Boost Trade With Russia, Other Nations Amid Sanctions: Commerce Minister

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Pakistan Barter Decree to Boost Trade With Russia, Other Nations Amid Sanctions: Commerce Minister

Pakistan Barter Decree to Boost Trade With Russia, Other Nations Amid Sanctions: Commerce Minister
A Russian Oil Cargo carrying discounted crude is anchored at Port
Karachi, Pakistan, Tuesday, June 13, 2023

In an exclusive conversation with Sputnik, Pakistan’s Federal Minister for Commerce, Syed Naveed Qamar, said that future trade deals with Russia could be done via a barter scheme or non-dollar currencies.

A few weeks ago, a direct trade route was launched between Russia and Pakistan when a ship docked at Karachi port carrying a large quantity of Russian crude oil.

Syed Naveed Qamar, Pakistan’s Federal Minister for Commerce explained to Sputnik how Islamabad could benefit from this trade deal and building bilateral relations in general.

According to him, Pakistan has launched a barter agreement for conducting business with specific countries that face issues using regular banking channels. At present, these include Afghanistan, Iran, and Russia, but they may later on spread to other nations as well.

Shedding some light on whether this special decree that allows barter trade with Iran, Russia, and Afghanistan is an attempt to reduce dollar transactions, the federal minister underlined that it is more than that because it aims to address issues that Pakistan faces in regard to financial transactions.

Talking about whether there is an interest to conduct transactions in other currencies, Qamar told Sputnik that Pakistan transacts in a number of currencies depending on the market in question and the agreement with the other side.

As an example, he said that the recent oil deal with Russia was conducted in the Chinese yuan, and although previously Pakistan was primarily trading in dollars, its portfolio is expanding, and based on this development it can be said that Pakistan is now trading in other currencies also.

Whether Pakistan will use the Chinese yuan in transactions with Russia in the future, the minister said that it was an agreement for one deal so far, hence, Pakistan has a choice and will not limit itself to any particular currency.

Discussing the rise in demand for Russian oil, he explained that Pakistan has various sources of oil supplies and Russia is one of them, "although we haven’t used it in the past, we can use it in the future," the politician said.

It is noteworthy to mention that despite the sanctions, trade-in dollars between Pakistan and Russia have been substantial in the past year.

Therefore, the growth amounted to 34% or $193 million.

The politician said that although trading in dollars was "quite difficult" for Russia due to the Western sanctions, there would be other ways as “this is not government-to-government transactions, but rather private sector dealings. They may be dealing in any currency,” Qamar told Sputnik.

Looking at Pakistan’s foreign policy and rapprochement with Russia, he explained that his country has always pursued a friendly policy towards all countries of the world, including China and the Western states.

Evaluating Pakistan’s relations with Russia at the trade and economic levels, as well as at the political level, he underlined that Russia is an important country of the world and Pakistan always wants to have relations with it.

“At present, it is being expressed through trade interests also and I believe that there is a very promising future for both the nations,” the minister concluded.

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