ICCIMA hosts Iran-Kazakhstan business forum

June 19, 2022 - 15:26

TEHRAN- Iran Chamber of Commerce, Industries, Mines and Agriculture (ICCIMA) hosted an Iran-Kazakhstan business forum on Sunday.

The forum was attended by ICCIMA Head Gholam-Hossein Shafeie and Kazakhstan’s Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Trade and Integration Bakhyt Sultanov.

Addressing the gathering, the ICCIMA head referring to the importance of Kazakhstan as a Central Asian country in Iran's foreign policy, said: "Given the resources and capabilities of the two countries in areas such as oil and gas, shipping in the Caspian Sea, petrochemicals, agriculture, metals and minerals, chemicals, animal husbandry, construction materials, pharmacy, technical and engineering services, development of relations with the Republic of Kazakhstan has a special significance for Iran.

Kazakhstan's active participation in world trade and membership in the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) and the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) has already enhanced the potential for trade relations between the two countries, Shafeie noted while complaining that unfortunately, despite these potentials, the trade relations between the two countries is still low.

He then called for operational steps, including visa facilitation, to increase trade between the two sides.

Kazakhstan’s deputy prime minister, for his part, emphasizing that Iran is a very important trade partner for Kazakhstan, said: "The peak of trade relations between the two countries was reached in 2016, when the worth of trade reached one billion dollars. But in 2020, due to some events, including the coronavirus outbreak, trade between the two countries fell by a quarter to about $238 million.”

“Last year we saw an 85-percent increase in trade between Iran and Kazakhstan, as trade between the two countries reached $440 million. It should be noted that 99 percent of Kazakhstan's exports to Iran are grains, of which $150 million is wheat export”, Sultanov further stated.

Saying that in the first quarter of this year, the trade between the two countries grew by 43 percent, and 70 percent of Kazakh companies export their products to Iran, the official added: "We can expand our relations and reach $3 billion value of bilateral trade”.

"Given the Ukraine-Russia war, we are ready to increase the exports of grain, including wheat, to Iran," the Kazakh minister said and reiterated: "We can export at least $1 billion of agricultural products and grains to Iran."

Shafeie and Sultanov had also met at the place of ICCIMA on May 23 to discuss mutual economic opportunities and challenges.

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.

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.”

In late May, a high-ranking delegation from Kazakhstan headed by Sultanov had visited Iran with the aim of exploring new opportunities for the expansion of economic relations between the two countries.

MA/MA

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