Iran, India commerce chambers ink trade co-op MOU

January 8, 2019

TEHRAN – Iran Chamber of Commerce, Industries, Mines and Agriculture (ICCIMA) and Indian Chamber of Commerce (ICC) signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) on Tuesday for expansion of trade and economic ties, IRNA reported.

The MOU was signed on the sidelines of an Iran-India business forum which was held in New Delhi in the mentioned day.

The business forum was attended by Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and Head of ICCIMA Gholam-Hossein Shafeie who are visiting India at the top of a high-ranking delegation.

Zarif also aims to attend the annual international conference of the Raisina Dialogue during his stay.

As reported, holding talks with the Indian private sector, signing of an MOU with the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) as well as identifying and removing trade barriers, especially banking, transportation and customs problems, along with negotiations on a preferential agreement between Iran and India and the joint venture in Chabahar port are also among the important issues on the agenda for the Iranian delegation.

 ‘Good time for preferential trade agreement’

During the Iran-India business forum, Gholam-Hossein Shafeie mentioned the possibility of preferential trade between the two countries saying that currently, there is a good opportunity for signing such an agreement which can quickly expand the economic relations between the two countries.

He also urged the Indian side to find solutions for the problems that the Indian banks like UCO bank and Central Bank of India are facing in trade with Iran.

Shafeie further mentioned the two countries great potentials for expansion of trade ties and asked the Indian side to remove some of the unreasonable tariffs on Iranian commodities.

Iranian bank to open Mumbai branch

On Tuesday, Mohammad Javad Zarif also met with the Indian Minister for Road Transport & Highways, Shipping and Water Resources Nitin Gadkari during which the two sides discussed various issues including banking problems and Chabahar port.

After the meeting, Gadkar told the Indian press that the government has allowed Iran’s Bank Pasargad to open its Mumbai branch within the next three months.

“They [Iran’s Pasargad Bank] are going to open a branch in Mumbai in three months. That will be used for transactions.” The official said.

"We have had a good discussion with the minister (Zarif). The first ship from Brazil has already been received at Chabahar. The financial arrangement is ready. There were some problems, but we have resolved the issues," Gadkar added.

‘Iran won’t wait for Europe to facilitate trade’

On the sidelines of his meeting with Gadkar, Zarif said the European Union was moving slower than expected in facilitating non-dollar trade with Tehran to circumvent U.S. sanctions, forcing it to explore avenues with other nations.

“We continue to work with the Europeans for the special purpose vehicle but we are not waiting for them,” Mohammad Javad Zarif told reporters in New Delhi. “We are working with our traditional partners like India, like China, like Russia so that we continue to work in the interest of our people.”

Zarif also said he was talking to Indian officials about selling more urea to India at a “reasonable” rate.

EF/MA

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