Iran, Turkey explore ways to boost trade ties

April 28, 2009 - 0:0

TEHRAN – Iranian Commerce Minister Masoud Mirkazemi, heading a 170—member delegation, set off on a two-day visit to Ankara on Monday to discuss ways to bolster trade ties with Turkey.

On the first day of the visit, Mirkazemi held a meeting with Turkish Foreign Trade Minister Kursad Tuzmen to discuss the promotion of bilateral trade and economic relations in the fields of road and railroad transportation, development of border markets’ activities, reducing trade tariffs, and launching joint ventures in other countries.
The visit is in line with an agreement reached in the 10th meeting of the Economic Cooperation Organization in Tehran to establish a free trade area by the year 2015, according to IRNA.
Leaders of the ten-member economic bloc also welcomed the suggestion to set up an ECO trade and development bank, which would be a turning point for the facilitation of trade in the region.
In the final statement, the ECO states agreed to take measures to increase cooperation in the energy sector, prevent administrative corruption and money laundering, promote the private sector through regular trade fairs, and increase cooperation to reduce the impact of the global economic crisis.
The Iranian minister is also due to inaugurate a conference on Tehran-Ankara trade development and to sign a related trade MOU on the sideline of the conference.
Iran and Turkey have set the target of $20 billion in annual trade by 2011, while the annual value of trade between the two countries hit $10 billion in 2008.
Iran exports some $8 billion of goods, including oil and gas products, to Turkey and imports nearly $2 billion worth of products per annum.