Iran, Armenia ink MOU on expansion of trade ties

January 24, 2021 - 11:46

TEHRAN – Iran, and Armenia signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) on Saturday for the expansion of trade ties between the two countries.

The MOU was signed by Iranian Industry, Mining and Trade Minister Alireza Razm Hosseini and the Armenian Economy Minister Vahan Kerobyan in Tehran.

Heading a trade delegation, Kerobyan arrived in Tehran on Friday to discuss the expansion of trade relations between the two countries.

Speaking on the sidelines of the signing ceremony, Razm Hosseini put Iran's exports to Armenia at about $300 million and noted that the signing of this MOU will be a great step towards improving the level of trade between the two neighbors.

Pointing to Armenia’s position as one of the members of the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU), with which Iran has recently signed a preferential trade agreement, Hosseini said Iran is seeking to become a permanent member of the EAEU and Armenia could be of significant help in this regard.

According to the Iranian minister, areas like the mining industry, foodstuff, and home appliances could be good opportunities for the two countries to develop mutual cooperation.

Kerobyan for his part expressed his government’s readiness for cooperation to boost mutual trade and produce joint products and to pave the way for Iran to enter the markets of third countries.

“We are ready to support Iranian traders to use Armenia for entering third countries,” he said.

Iran focusing on trade with neighbors

The Armenian minister also met with the Governor of the Central Bank of Iran (CBI) Abdolnaser Hemmati and discussed banking issues and ways of increasing the level of trade between the two sides.

In this meeting, Hemmati noted that Iran is currently focusing on enhancing its trade ties with the neighboring countries.

The official pointed to Armenia’s significant geographical position and noted that the country can have a tremendous impact on the development of trade relations between the two countries and also between Iran and the EAEU as a whole.

"Iran's economic situation is improving despite the pressures imposed by the U.S. sanctions, and we have been able to achieve positive economic growth this year," Hemmati said.

He expressed dissatisfaction with the current level of trade between the two neighbors, saying: “Unfortunately, the volume of trade relations between the two countries is not reflecting their long history of bilateral cooperation; therefore, we hope that by holding similar meetings, we will be able to further strengthen mutual relations and witness the development of economic relations.”

Kerobyan also called for the development of trade and economic relations between the two nations, especially the fields of investment and production.

Iranian trade with some partners resuming

Elsewhere in his remarks, Hemmati pointed to the ineffectiveness of the U.S. sanctions in disrupting Iran’s trade ties with its major partners and said: “We believe that the sanctions are not viable; Iran's trade relations with some countries are currently resuming and it is a good time for Armenia, as a friend and neighbor, to expand its relations with Iran.”

He finally stressed the importance of resolving the banking issues of the two countries and proposed to travel to Yerevan to pursue specialized banking issues and financial exchanges with the governor of the Central Bank of Armenia.

During his five-day visit to Iran, Kerobyan is going to visit some of the major Iranian production centers, and he will also make a trip to Isfahan Province.

EF/MA

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