Iran Poised to Join Eurasia Free Trade Zone
Iran Poised to Join Eurasia Free Trade Zone
TEHRAN - Iran’s Energy Minister Reza Ardakanian says the country will soon announce the implementation of its agreement with the five members of the Eurasian Economic Union on free trade, which will make Iran a member of the Eurasia Free Trade Zone.

In an address to the fifteenth meeting of the Joint Commission of Iran and Russia on Sunday, Ardakanian said based on the agreement which is expected to be approved by Iran’s Guardian Council, 800 goods would be subject to tariff reductions.


“The agreement will pave the way for further expansion of ties between Iran and the EAEU,” he was quoted as saying in a report by ISNA.

The minister expressed hope that the agreement is implemented as soon as possible, preparing the ground for further mutual ties.

His remarks came after the Iranian parliament on Monday ratified the agreement that allows the administration to join the free trade zone with the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) countries.

The Eurasian Economic Union is an economic union of states located in central and northern Asia and Eastern Europe. The Treaty on the Eurasian Economic Union was signed in 2014 by the leaders of Belarus, Kazakhstan and Russia, and came into force on 1 January 2015.

In his Sunday comments, Ardakanian also referred to the cooperation underway between Iran and Russia in tourism sector and said the two sides can take advantage of the Caspian Sea tourist capacities through joint projects.

He went on to say that tariff rates of a number of 800 goods and commodities decreased in business relationship between Islamic Republic of Iran and North Caucasus region.

Ardakanian added, “The Temporary Free Trade Agreement is concluded between Iran and five Eurasian Economic Union (EEU) member states, based on which, tariff rates of more than 800 commodities will be subject to tariff deduction.”

The business ties between Islamic Republic of Iran and Russian Federation has been moved forward in recent years, he reiterated.

In his meeting with the Minister of the Russian Federation for North Caucasus Affairs Sergey Viktorovich Chebotarev, Ardakanian stated, “with a population of 10 million, North Caucasus region has an important and key role for boosting bilateral relationship between Islamic Republic of Iran and Russian Federation in a way that this region is considered as an entrance gateway for Iran’s goods to Russia and vice versa.”

He pointed to the five separate visits between Iranian and Russian presidents and also strengthening parliamentary diplomacy between Tehran and Moscow and emphasized, “in general, trade and business delegations of the two countries have held various expert-level sessions which shows development of bilateral ties between Iran and Russia in all political, security, economic and cultural dimensions.”

Location of North Caucasus region en route International North-South Transport Corridor (INSTC) has contributed development of cooperation, so that Islamic Republic of Iran has taken widespread measures for connecting domestic rail networks with this corridor, he said, adding, “the recent inauguration of Qazvin-Rasht railway line, as long as 165 km, is a clear example of this claim.”

Meanwhile a Russian official in the forum said that Moscow trade volume with Tehran has increased in 2018 but it must be increased more.

The Russian-Iranian trade exceeded $1.7 billion in 2018, but the two countries have a potential to increase this indicator, Russian Minister for North Caucasus Affairs Sergei Chebotarev  said .

The Russian minister noted that this volume was very modest adding that Russia and Iran had a ‘much higher potential’ in this field.

According to Chebotarev, the two sides must do everything possible to achieve a new level in bilateral trade.

2th Iran-Caucasus Joint Economic Committee meeting kicked off on Sunday with Iranian Energy Minister Ardakanian, the Minister of North Caucasus Affairs of the Russian Federation Chebotarev, the deputy prime minister of the Russian Republic of Dagestan and eight regional ministers in attendance.

During the three-day events, nine working groups and three specialized committees are scheduled to be held to explore cooperation in a variety of areas including industry, energy, transport, ICT, etc.

Establishing a freight line between Zhukovsky International Airport in Moscow and Isfahan International Airport, joint production of freight wagons, joint production of small-scale turbines, joint production of heavy vehicles, and exports of meat from North Caucasus region to Iran are some of the projects which are going to be discussed during the Joint Economic Committee meeting.

It is also agreed for the two countries’ businessmen and entrepreneurs to hold B2B talks on the sidelines of the upcoming event in order to explore avenues of mutual cooperation.

As part of the Russian Federation, the Northern Caucasus region is included in the North Caucasian and Southern Federal Districts and consists of Krasnodar Krai, Stavropol Krai, and the constituent republics.

  • source : IRAN NEWS