Iran-Syria good political relations can support mutual trade: official

June 21, 2019

TEHRAN - Keyvan Kashefi, the chairman of Iran-Syria Joint Chamber of Commerce, said the two countries’ good political relations can help the two sides’ traders to boost economic relations, IRNA reported on Wednesday.

Speaking in a conference on development of economic cooperation between Iran’s Lorestan Province and Iraq and Syria in Khorramabad Chamber of Commerce in western Iran, Kashefi said, “Syria is a very highly potential market and the most urgent task for Iranian traders is to accelerate presence in this market, which requires expert work.”
The official mentioned the war-stricken country’s potentials for economic cooperation, saying “Before war Syria was one of the most important producers among Arabic countries, it presented great trade opportunities and was one of the major exporters of agriculture and textile products in the region.” 
Kashefi put Iran’s exports to Syria at only $250 million in the past Iranian calendar year (March 2018-March 2019), and noted that the level of trade is not satisfactory considering the two sides potentials and capacities.
The official expressed hope that with the support of the two sides’ governments the economic relations between the two countries could reach the desirable levels in the upcoming years.
Earlier in March, Syrian Ambassador to Tehran Adnan Mahmoud said Iranian companies are the top priority for trade and awarding the country’s reconstruction projects.
A trade delegation from Syria visited Iran on March 11 to attend a business forum which was held at Iran Chamber of Cooperatives in Tehran and also to hold talks with Iranian private sector in order to encourage them to cooperate in the war-stricken country’s reconstruction.
Iran and Syria have been exchanging numerous trade delegations in the past few months and Iranian private companies are already investing in different areas like providing construction materials especially cement and working on several reconstruction projects in Syria.
In August 2018, a delegation comprised of Iranian economic experts traveled to Syria to explore investment opportunities and finalize the reconstruction plans of the war-stricken country.
Also in January, the 14th preparatory meeting of Iran-Syria high joint technical committee of economic cooperation was held at Damascus.
EF/MA

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