Tehran, Yerevan explore expansion of transport co-op

May 25, 2021 - 16:33

TEHRAN – Iran and Armenia are exploring ways for expanding transport and trade cooperation as the Islamic Republic is looking for using Armenia as part of its South-North transit corridor.

The two countries, which eye boosting mutual trade up to $1 billion annually, have exchanged several trade delegations over the past few months to discuss areas of cooperation.

In this regard, heading a delegation, Iranian Transport and Urban Development Minister Mohammad Eslami traveled to Yerevan on Monday to meet with Armenian officials and negotiate ways of expanding ties.

Using the country as part of the South-North transport corridor which extends from the Persian Gulf to the Black Sea, construction of Tabriz-Jolfa and Yerevan-Tbilisi railways, creating opportunities for Iranian companies for participation in Armenian projects, investment in transit and logistics development projects, and finally reducing tolls were among the issues discussed during the meetings between Eslami and Armenian officials.

Upon Arrival, Eslami met with the Armenian Minister of Economy Vahan Kerobyan in Yerevan, during which the two sides addressed some of the above-mentioned issues.

Following the meeting, Eslami announced the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MOU) for the removal of transit barriers between the two countries.

Based on the MOU, at first, transhipment is going to be eliminated so that the trucks of the two countries can commute easily, and secondly, conditions will be created so that by eliminating transit tolls, the Iran-Armenia route becomes more attractive for traders to use for transiting their goods, the official explained.

“Today's geopolitical condition and the situation in the region have created new opportunities that have been discussed in trilateral or quadrilateral interactions; now is a good time to improve the country’s transit and transportation status with new agreements,” Eslami said.

Eslami and Kerobyan had also discussed promoting joint investment in border areas, especially in industrial parks of the mentioned regions as a great potential for boosting the two sides' trade.

“By expanding cooperation and boosting the level of investment and trade to $1 billion, Islamic Republic of Iran can immediately become a trading partner of Armenia,” Eslami said.

The Iranian Minister also mentioned some positive talks held between Iran and Armenia in the field of infrastructure in both railway and road sectors and added: "Today, good talks were held at the Ministry of Territorial Administration and Infrastructure and executive decisions were made for cooperation in the two sectors of railways and roads."

“Considering the decisions made, it is hoped that the cooperation between the two countries will increase both in terms of size and value."

Eslami was accompanied by Head of Iran Road Maintenance and Transportation Organization Darioush Amani, and Head of the Islamic Republic of Iran Railways Saeed Rasouli in his visit to Armenia.

EF/MA

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