Talks resumed between Iran, EAEU on free trade agreement

April 29, 2022 - 12:26

TEHRAN – Iran and the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) representatives have started a new round of negotiations for finalizing the draft of a free trade agreement between the two sides and to determine the commodity items that should be included in the agreement, an official with Iran’s Trade Promotion Organization (TPO) said.

According to Mir-Hadi Seyedi, TPO's advisor in international affairs, the organization dispatched a team of negotiators to Russia to hold talks with representatives of the five Eurasian Economic Union member states.

Syedi noted that based on the free trade agreement tariffs on about 80 percent of goods exchanged between the two sides will gradually be reduced to zero, while the remaining 20 percent will remain unchanged.

Stating that so far, the negotiations have been mainly focused on finalizing the draft of the agreement, the official added: "Negotiations in this round also include determining the commodity lists of the two sides."

“Currently, the draft of the agreement has been mainly finalized and there are few cases left that need further consideration by both parties,” Seyedi said.

TPO’s adviser on international affairs and trade agreements further said that negotiations between the two sides will continue in the coming months until the free trade agreement is signed between the two sides before the end of 2022.

Earlier this month, TPO Head Alireza Peyman-Pak met with the minister in charge of the economy of the Eurasian Economic Commission (EEC) in Moscow to discuss upgrading the preferential trade agreement already reached between the two sides to a free trade agreement.

After several years of negotiations, Iran and EAEU finally reached a preferential trade agreement in 2018 based on which about 862 commodity items are subject to preferential tariffs. The agreement came into effect on October 27, 2019. It was designed to be in effect for three years, it is to expire in October this year.

The value of trade between Iran and the EAEU members reached $5.643 billion during the previous Iranian calendar year (ended on March 20), registering a 66-percent rise compared to the figure for the preceding year.

According to Spokesman of the Islamic Republic of Iran Customs Administration (IRICA) Ruhollah Latifi, the weight of Iran-EAEU trade in the mentioned year stood at over 13.127 million tons which was also 51 percent more than the previous year.

Iran exported 2.77 million tons of commodities worth over $1.170 billion to the mentioned union to register a 3.5 percent increase in terms of weight and 12 percent growth in terms of value.

EF/MA

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