Iran-EAEU FTA taskforce holds online meeting

November 3, 2020 - 13:55

TEHRAN – An online meeting of the Iran-Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) free trade agreement (FTA) taskforce, which was set up following the agreement signed between the two sides in October 2019, was held on Monday.

The meeting was attended by the chairs of the mentioned taskforce, the Head of Iran’s Trade Promotion Organization (TPO) Hamid Zadboum, and the Eurasian Economic Commission (EEC) Minister of Trade Andrey Slepnev, the portal of TPO reported.

Speaking in this videoconference meeting, the officials mentioned the increase in trade exchanges between Iran and EAEU since the implementation of the FTA despite the coronavirus outbreak, saying it is an indication of their trade capacities.

Underlining the high trade capacity between Iran and the EAEU, in the meeting Zadboum called for further cooperation between the two sides to provide the necessary infrastructure in transport, transit, banking, and customs for paving the way for the successful implementation of the trade agreement.

Converting the current (temporary) agreement into a permanent one requires the development of the current infrastructure for a higher level of trade between the two sides or to create new infrastructures, because the current infrastructure is not enough for a favorable volume of trade, and in this regard also the development of cooperation in the fields of transport, banking, and investment in free zones is of particular importance, Zadboum stressed.

Iran is also willing to develop cooperation in the field of services and it is necessary to consider specific sectors like services, in the free trade agreement or in the form of separate agreements, based on which the parties could expand cooperation in new fields, the official added.

In the end, it was decided the parties will hold consultative meetings on a free trade agreement and present issues to be considered, and to exchange views in all areas related to the mentioned agreement, so that by the end of 2020, the parties will reach a technical goal; then, the official negotiations will begin in February 2021.

Iran and Eurasian Economic Union reached a free trade agreement in May 2018 based on which about 862 commodity items were subjected to preferential tariffs, the agreement came into force on October 27, 2019.

Iran is a very important market in the region and the development of ties with this country is of high significance for the EAEU members (Russia, Belarus, Armenia, Kazakhstan, and Kyrgyzstan).

The trade agreement between Iran and this union has laid the ground for the expansion of trade ties between the two sides.

The agreement with the bloc has increased Iran’s exports to the EAEU member states significantly, which is a turning point for the Islamic Republic plans for boosting non-oil exports during the U.S. sanctions.

EF/MA

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