Boosting trade with neighbors discussed in an ICCIMA meeting

July 16, 2019 - 19:28

TEHRAN- During a meeting between deputy head of Iran Chamber of Commerce, Industries, Mines and Agriculture (ICCIMA) for international affairs with the vice chairmen of provincial chambers for international affairs, the ways for boosting trade with the neighboring countries were discussed.

During the meeting, which was held at the place of ICCIMA on Monday, Mohammadreza Karbasi, the deputy head of ICCIMA for international affairs, mentioned development of trade ties with the neighbors and also with the regional countries as the main pivot of ICCIMA’s activities specially during the sanctions time and said that the role of joint chambers of commerce, border chambers and designated chambers is constructive in this due, ICCIMA portal published.

Referring to the pressures of the sanctions, Karbasi said: “The problems created by the sanctions in the way of trade leave no way for us rather than expansion of non-oil exports and in this regard we should focus more on the neighboring and regional countries.”

Increasing non-oil exports to the neighboring countries is one of the major plans that Iranian government is pursuing in the current Iranian calendar year (began on March 21).

Iran shares border with fifteen countries, namely the United Arab Emirates, Iraq, Turkey, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Russia, Oman, Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan, Kuwait, Qatar, Kazakhstan, Armenia, Bahrain, and Saudi Arabia.

Based on the data published by Trade Promotion Organization (TPO), the value of trade with the neighboring countries stood at over $36.5 billion in the past Iranian calendar year, that is about 41 percent of the country’s total non-oil trade in the mentioned time span.

Iran plans to launch 15 mega export projects to identify more target markets, according to the acting head of TPO.

Mohammadreza Modoudi said with the implementation of these projects, which mainly focus on the markets of neighboring countries, identifying professional trade and promoting export of non-oil commodities will be put on agenda.

Also on June 24, Sadeq Najafi, the senior advisor to Iran’s industry, mining and trade minister, said the ministry has planned that the annual export of commodities and services to Iran’s 15 neighbor countries will reach $32 billion in the current Iranian calendar year.

Making the remarks in a meeting with the members of Iran’s Free Trade Zone Fraction, the official mentioned supporting exports by the production units as another plan of the ministry in this year which is named the Year of Pickup in Production.

ICCIMA suggests 3 strategies for expansion of trade with neighbors

During the Monday meeting of ICCIMA, Karbasi put emphasis on the necessity of making long-term plan for presence in the markets of neighboring countries and suggested three strategies for long-term and effective presence in those market.

He mentioned focusing on exports in the framework of bartering, which needs no banking transactions, as the first strategy and signing free trade agreements and preferential trade agreements with the neighbors as the second one and said such agreements are already ignored. 

The official mentioned promotion of border trade as the third strategy and said: “For this strategy we need some new regulations through them we can make the best use of the existing potential.”

In mid-April, Iranian industry, mining and trade minister said the country plans to double its exports to the neighboring countries by the Iranian calendar year of 1400 (which starts in March 2021).

Mentioning the fact that only two percent of the total imports of Iran’s neighbors comes from the Islamic country, Reza Rahmani noted that his ministry is going to focus on developing domestic production and defining new projects to manufacture all the industrial equipment needed inside the country.

The official further pointed to some of the potent areas which could be worked on in order to increase exports including home appliances, apparel industry, petrochemicals, and marine industries, basic metals such as steel, aluminum and copper as well as agriculture.

Also on July 12, Deputy Minister of Industry, Mining and Trade, Saeed Zarandi, put emphasis on the necessity of boosting ties with the neighbors given their good potential, and said that Iran’s 15 neighboring countries with the population of over 600 million people are export markets of $1.3 trillion per year.


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