Tehran, Yerevan discuss expansion of customs, trade ties

May 29, 2020 - 12:36

TEHRAN- During a meeting via video conference between Iran’s Trade Promotion Organization (TPO) Head Hamid Zadboum and Armenia’s Deputy Minister of Economy Avag Avanesyan, the two sides explored the ways for boosting bilateral cooperation in the customs and trade areas.

As reported by the TPO, Armenian Ambassador to Iran Artashes Toumanian also participated in the meeting.

While emphasizing the significance of expanding trade ties between the two countries, Zadboum elaborated on the details of the first meeting of Iran-Armenia Industry, Mining and Trade Committee.

The two sides also emphasized the establishment of a taskforce on the industry, mining, and trade relations between Iran and Armenia.

Toumanian for his part said, “Armenia’s Ministry of Economy, and Ministry of Territorial Administration and Infrastructure will take part in the mentioned taskforce, and we will announce the Armenian private companies to participate as well.”

Iran and Armenia also discussed the facilitation of trade between the two neighbors in a meeting held via video conference on May 23.

Organized by the international affairs department of the ICCIMA, the meeting was participated by Iranian ambassador to Armenia, ICCIMA vice chairman for the international affairs, the chairmen of ICCIMA’s committees of transportation, and non-oil exports development, the head of Iran-Armenia Joint Chamber of Commerce, and the representatives of Iranian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Islamic Republic of Iran Customs Administration (IRICA). 

During the meeting, Mohammadreza Karbasi, ICCIMA vice chairman for the international affairs, emphasized that Iran attaches priority to its neighbors for trade, saying, “Iran and Armenia have many cultural commonalities while a positive diplomatic relationship, so, there is no limitation for the expansion of ties with Armenia, especially considering the free trade agreement (FTA) that Iran has signed with the member states of Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) which has improved trade condition.”

Back in mid-January, the head of Iran-Armenia Joint Chamber of Commerce said Iran’s trade agreement with the Eurasian Economic Union has had a significant impact on the country’s trade relations with Armenia. 

Speaking to IRNA, Hervik Yarijanian said: “The two sides are applying tariff discounts offered based on the agreement and there has been no problem in this regard.”

According to the official, the volume of trade between the two countries has witnessed an outstanding rise since the agreement became effective in October 2019.

“Turkey used to dominate the Armenian market, but now the Iranian products are much cheaper than the Turkish ones, which has given Iran a competitive advantage,” Yarijanian added.

Iran mainly imports red meat from Armenia, while Armenia imports polymer raw materials, machinery, industrial gases, manufactured artifacts, leather, and leather goods from Iran, he said.

He further noted that Iran has a much greater export capability compared to Armenia, adding that traders have not yet gotten used to the idea of the preferential trade agreement and hopefully with the expansion of this deal, more Iranian traders will be attracted to the Armenian market.

Iran and Armenia have been emphasizing the need for preserving and expanding trade relations between the two countries since the preferential trade deal between Iran and EAEU was implemented.

While the U.S. renewed sanctions on Iran are aimed at isolating the Islamic Republic both politically and economically, Iran’s relations, especially in the economic sectors, with its neighbors are seemed not to be affected by the sanctions.

The northwestern neighbor Armenia is one of the countries preserving and expanding its economic relations with Iran regardless of the sanction condition.


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