Tehran, Yerevan explore avenues of economic co-op

March 4, 2022 - 14:40

TEHRAN – Iranian Industry, Mining, and Trade Minister Reza Fatemi-Amin, who has traveled to Armenia on top of a delegation, met with Armenian Economy Minister Vahan Kerobyan on Thursday to discuss mutual areas for economic cooperation.

During this meeting, the two sides explored various issues and talked about ways of expanding trade relations between the two countries, the Industry Ministry's news portal Shata reported.

Speaking in the meeting, Fatemi-Amin pointed to the close cultural and political relations between the two countries and said economic relations should also be developed in line with cultural and political ties.

"Improving economic relations is a joint task that both sides must work to achieve," Fatemi-Amin said, adding: "The economies of Iran and Armenia are complementary and we have a lot of common areas with great capacities to cooperate on."

“Armenia as a member state of the Eurasian Economic Union and a country neighboring Iran is of great significance. We can export technologies in many industrial sectors to Armenia and import our required industrial know-how from the country,” said the Iranian official.

He further underlined Iran’s efforts for developing international trade corridors including the north-south corridor, saying: “Four main routes are defined in the north-south corridor, one of which passes through Armenia, and the strengthening of transit cooperation between the two countries should be done through this corridor.”

The Iranian minister of Industry, Mining, and Trade also mentioned the issues related to transportation and money transfer and noted that such issues have been resolved and last year the two sides successfully tried various methods, including barter trade.

Fatemi-Amin, further put Iran’s total foreign trade in the current Iranian calendar year (ends on March 20) at about $100 billion, saying that over 80 percent of the mentioned figure is related to non-oil trade which has been realized through similar methods such as barter trade.

“We can swap the products of Iran and Armenia with those of other Arab countries and the export of live cattle and meat can also be done with this method,” the minister said.

Iran’s exports to Armenia up 20%

Later, on Thursday evening, in an interview with the national TV Fatemi-Amin note that the goal for his visit to the neighboring country has been to strengthen the economic ties between the two countries via joint investments.

“This visit is focused on deepening ties between Iran and Armenia via joint ventures,” Fatemi-Amin said.

He further noted that the expansion of the country’s foreign trade is one of the government’s major priorities.

The official put the value of Iran’s exports to Armenia at $500 million in the current Iranian calendar year and said the exports to Armenia have increased by 20 percent compared to the figure for the previous year.

Iranian and Armenian businessmen hold B2B meetings

During the visit of the Iranian delegation to Armenia, several specialized meetings were also held between the businessmen of the two countries, and the representatives of the two sides’ private sectors held B2B meetings to exchange ideas and learn about potential areas for mutual cooperation.

According to Iranian Commercial Attaché to Yerevan Akbar Godari, such meetings between the businessmen of the two countries could pave the way for the expansion of trade relations between Iran and Armenia in the future.

Godari noted that one of the main reasons for the unsatisfactory levels of economic relations between the two neighbors is the lack of knowledge and acquaintance between the two countries’ traders.

The official noted that during a series of events organized by the Armenian Chamber of Commerce and Industries, the representatives of the two sides’ companies active in various areas including medical equipment, pharmaceuticals, knowledge and technology, and home appliances have held meetings and discussed areas of common interest.

Fatemi-Amin visited Armenia on top of a high-ranking delegation on Thursday and Friday mainly to follow up on the implementation of economic agreements previously reached between the two sides.

The minister was accompanied by Head of Iran’s Trade Promotion Organization (TPO) Alireza Peyman-Pak and a handful of officials from his ministry during this visit.

Trade relations between Iran and Armenia have dramatically expanded after Iran signed a Free Trade Agreement with the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) in October 2019.

The Republic of Armenia is a landlocked country located in northwestern Iran. The two countries share a 44 km border.

EF/MA

Photo: Industry Minister Reza Fatemi-Amin (R) and Armenian Economy Minister Vahan Kerobyan

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