Tehran, Tashkent Striving to Boost Bilateral Trade
IRAN NEWS ECONOMIC DESK
TEHRAN – Deputy Head of Iran Chamber of Commerce, Industries, Mines and Agriculture (ICCIMA) for International Affairs Mohammad-Reza Karbasi in an online meeting with the Chairman of Association of Exporters of Uzbekistan Mr. Muhtar Umarov explored ways for boosting trade between Iran and Uzbekistan and called for reducing customs tariff, reducing cost of transportation and providing required facilities for rail transportation which are the prerequisites for the growth of trade and investment in Iran and Uzbekistan.
Mr. Karbasi in the meeting said restoring and boosting ties with the neighboring countries is of the main priorities of Iran, and Uzbekistan due to its deep historical, cultural and economic commonalities as well as its special geographical location is of great importance to Iran.
He then pointed to Iran’s strategic geographical position which is considered as the gateway for Uzbekistan’s link to other countries. He added Iran’s economy due to its vast infrastructures, huge potentials, many efficient production units, and skillful human recourses is the center of attraction for international economic centers.
Karbasi then pointed to Iran’s capabilities in technical and engineering services, adding currently Iranian companies are active in road, tunnel and building construction sector in the regional states and have gained considerable experiences.
He said since Uzbekistan is rich in gold, uranium and copper mines, both countries can have joint and constant cooperation in this field. He then added that agriculture, horticulture, foodstuff, dried fruits, iron, steel, tile, ceramic and chemical fertilizers are of the other fields that both countries can cooperate for expanding their economic relations.
Karbasi also pointed to the outstanding progress of Iranians in nanotechnologies and biotechnology, adding that both countries can share their experiences and technical knowledge in those fields. He further said removing banking hurdles and problems, reducing the cost of transportation, offering required facilities in the rail transportation and increasing the number of active wagons between both countries are the prerequisites of bilateral trade and investment growth between Iran and Uzbekistan.
Karbasi added the trade volume between Iran and Uzbekistan has surpassed from $186m in 2018 to some $424m in 2019. He also criticized Turkmenistan’s lack of cooperation for emerge of some problems in the transportation of goods between Iran and Uzbekistan which are transited via Turkmenistan. He said it is expected Uzbek officials to have talks with their Turkmen counterparts for resolving problems.
He also criticized Uzbekistan Customs Office for its high tariffs regarding Iranian goods, adding that talks have begun for signing preferential trade agreement for a logical tariff rate, and its implementation needs necessary supports of Uzbekistan decision-makers in the economic field.
He also announced signing of a MoU on cooperation between ICCIMA and Uzbekistan Chamber of Commerce aimed at forming a joint committee between Iran and Uzbekistan.
Then Umarov, for his part, highlighted achievements and progresses of his country in the foreign trade, industries and tourism, and emphasized his countries move towards international markets.
He said the association is comprised of big and capable Uzbek companies and it has a private exhibition, 14 offices in different provinces of Uzbekistan and trade offices in several countries.
Umarov noted that products of the companies which are the members of the association are high quality and they are active in different fields like construction products, furniture, foodstuff, etc.
According to the statistics, Iran and Uzbekistan trade volume stood at $424.2m in 2019 as Iran’s exports were around $204.6m. The statistics also show that the trade volume of both countries grew by 38 percent in 2019 comparing to 2018.