Kazakhstan’s trade delegation to visit Tehran in late June

June 1, 2022 - 11:6

TEHRAN- A Kazakh trade delegation will visit Tehran at the end of the current Iranian calendar month (ends on June 21), an official with Iran’s Trade Promotion Organization (TPO) announced.

Rahmatollah Khormali, the acting director of the TPO’s office of Central Asia, Caucasus, and Russia, said the Kazakh delegation’s visit will be coordinated by the TPO and Kazakhstan’s QazTrade (Center for Trade Policy Development).

A high-ranking delegation from Kazakhstan headed by the country’s Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Trade and Integration Bakhyt Sultanov also visited Iran last week with the aim of exploring new opportunities for the expansion of economic relations between the two countries.

During their stay in Tehran, the Kazakh delegates held several meetings with senior Iranian officials including Industry, Mining, and Trade Minister Reza Fatemi-Amin, Governor of the Central Bank of Iran (CBI) Ali Saleh-Abadi, and Managing Director of National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) Mohsen Khojasteh-Mehr.

The Kazakh delegation first visited the industry ministry to discuss mutual cooperation in industrial areas with Fatemi-Amin.

In this meeting, the Iranian minister stressed the significance of the joint investment for the expansion of economic relations between the two countries, saying: “By the strengthening of economic relations between the two countries and the collaboration of Iranian and Kazakh companies, deeper, more stable and broader relations will be formed.”

“Kazakhstan is a mineral-rich country and, like Iran, has large mining companies, and we can meet part of our needs for steel sheets from Kazakhstan,” Fatemi-Amin said, suggesting that Iran could also cooperate with Kazakhstan in other areas like home appliances, medical equipment, and pharmaceutical industries.

Sultanov, in his turn, emphasized the possibility of strengthening the trans-Caspian corridor using Iran's logistics facilities, and said: “Given Iran’s capabilities and capabilities, the country could become Kazakhstan's transit hub in the region.”

Later on, the Kazakh party was received by the NIOC head and the officials of the two countries held talks on strengthening bilateral energy cooperation.

During this gathering, Khojasteh-Mehr pointed to the long history of cooperation between Iran and Kazakhstan in the field of energy and said that Iran intends to activate the potential capacities between the two states in this sector.

Referring to Kazakhstan's willingness to cooperate with Iran’s oil industry, he added that experts from the two countries are expected to examine the areas of cooperation in various fields, including oil, gas, and petrochemical industries.

“The outcome of the investigations conducted by the experts of the two countries will eventually lead to a memorandum of understanding between Iran and Kazakhstan which will be hopefully signed during the visit of the president of Kazakhstan to Tehran,” the NIOC head said.

He highlighted that currently, Iran and Kazakhstan have positive cooperation in the fields of transportation and agriculture, adding that the two states are taking the necessary steps to also use the joint capacities in the field of energy.

During his stay in Tehran, Sultanov and his accompanying delegation attended a meeting with Governor of the Central Bank of Iran (CBI) Ali Saleh-Abadi, in which the two sides discussed issues related to the banking relations between the two countries.

Speaking in this meeting, Saleh-Abadi referred to the close economic relations between the two countries and stressed: "Development of economic cooperation and expansion of banking relations between Iran and Kazakhstan are complementary and we welcome the readiness of Kazakhstan to increase banking and trade relations with Iran."

He further emphasized the economic and banking capacities of Iran and Kazakhstan, saying: "With the expansion of banking relations between the two countries, economic cooperation will also increase and reach the desired point."

Sultanov for his part referred to the official visit of his country’s president to Tehran in mid-June and said: "I have come to Tehran on the personal order of the president to explore various areas for the development and expansion of economic, trade and banking cooperation between Kazakhstan and Iran."

Underlining Kazakhstan's readiness for developing economic relations with the Islamic Republic of Iran, the official said: "Very good agreements have been concluded in recent months between the various economic sectors and the private sectors of the two countries so that the volume of trade and economic exchanges between Iran and Kazakhstan has grown by 50 percent over the last three months to $200 million.”

He further mentioned the 85-percent increase in trade exchanges between the two countries last year, saying: "Before the pandemic, the volume of economic exchanges between Iran and Kazakhstan was over one billion dollars, and returning to this level of cooperation and even exceeding it is also on the agenda of Kazakhstan.”

Sultanov also visited Head of Iran Chamber of Commerce, Industries, Mines and Agriculture (ICCIMA) Gholam-Hossein Shafeie during his stay in Iran.

In that meeting, the two sides explored ways to increase the level of economic cooperation between the two countries.

In this regard, Shafeie stressed the need for resolving transportation issues and facilitating visa issuance for Iranian businessmen as a prerequisite for expanding trade ties between the two sides.

Noting that Kazakhstan, as the largest country in Central Asia, is very important for Iran, the ICCIMA head said: "Over the past few months, we have met with various delegations from Kazakhstan, and this is promising for good developments in trade relations between the two countries in the coming months."

According to Shafeie, the free economy policy in Kazakhstan has provided a good ground for the presence of Iranian traders and businessmen in this country.

Pointing to the obstacles to the development of trade relations between Iran and Kazakhstan, the official said: "One of the main obstacles to developing relations between the two countries is the limitations in rail and sea transport."

Sultanov for his part expressed satisfaction with the current trend of economic relations between the two countries and said: “Despite many problems, we are witnessing the growth of trade relations between the two countries.”

“Last year, trade between the two countries grew by 80 percent. Of course, this rate was mainly due to the improvement in conditions caused by the coronavirus pandemic. Fortunately, in the first three months of 2022, trade between the two countries has also grown by 50 percent to $200 million.”

MA/MA

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