TEHRAN (Iran News) – Iran and Armenia signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) on Saturday for the expansion of trade ties between the two countries. The MOU was signed by Iranian Industry, Mining and Trade Minister Alireza Razm Hosseini and the Armenian Economy Minister Vahan Kerobyan in Tehran.
Speaking on the sidelines of the signing ceremony, Razm Hosseini put Iran’s exports to Armenia at about $300 million and noted that the signing of this MOU will be a great step towards improving the level of trade between the two neighbors.
Pointing to Armenia’s position as one of the members of the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU), with which Iran has recently signed a preferential trade agreement, Hosseini said Iran is seeking to become a permanent member of the EAEU and Armenia could be of significant help in this regard.
According to the Iranian minister, areas like the mining industry, foodstuff, and home appliances could be good opportunities for the two countries to develop mutual cooperation.
Kerobyan for his part expressed his government’s readiness for cooperation to boost mutual trade and produce joint products and to pave the way for Iran to enter the markets of third countries.
“We are ready to support Iranian traders to use Armenia for entering third countries,” he said.
Kerobyan said that based on negotiations with the Iranian envoy to Armenia, both countries are willing to augment trade to $1b within six months.
He also praised Iran’s capacities and called for expanding economic relations between the two countries.
Efforts should be made for the export of both countries’ products not only to Eurasia but to other states, he added.
He called for joint venture economic cooperation with Iran, saying that Iranian producers can finish part of their products in Armenia.
Kerobyan also said after signing the agreement that his country is ready for mutual trade and cooperation and joint productions to help Iran enter other countries’ markets.
Noting that Armenia owns a big market, he said that Armenia is ready to host Iranian tradesmen to be able to enter the third countries.
The Armenian Minister of Economy also stressed the need to facilitate trade and resolve the problems facing the two countries’ businessmen.
Meanwhile, heads of a number of Iranian and Armenian small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) discussed the establishment of a technology exchange center.
During the meeting, both sides also shared views on ways of promoting cooperation between the two countries’ small and medium-sized enterprises and the areas of cooperation between the two sides.
Meanwhile, on Saturday and in a meeting with Kerobyan, the governor of the Central Bank of Iran (CBI) has underlined the importance of enhancing cooperation with Armenia.
Abdonasser Hemmati also touched upon the age-old history of trade and cultural exchanges between the two countries.
“Currently, the volume of trade between the two countries is not reflecting the long history of mutual cooperation,” said.
“So, by holding similar meetings, we hope we will be able to further promote reciprocal ties and see [mutual] economic cooperation expand,” said the Iranian official.
Hemmati then recalled that Iran and Armenia are both members of the Eurasian Economic Union.
“Using its geographical situation, Armenia can have a tremendous impact on the promotion of trade ties between the two countries and with the whole [Eurasian Economic] Union, especially when Iranian business people have always been very interested in exporting goods to Armenia,” added Hemmati, who is also the head of Iran’s Money and Credit Council.
“Despite the heavy pressure of the U.S., the economic situation of Iran is improving and we have been able to secure a positive economic growth this year,” he added.
“Generally speaking, we believe the sanctions won’t last, and currently, Iran’s trade ties with certain countries are opening up, and it is a proper time for Armenia, as a friend and neighbor of Iran, to work towards boosting its relations with Iran,” said the CBI director.
“Over the 10 months to January 2021, Iran exported $260 million worth of goods to Armenia. However, Iran’s imports from Armenia amounted to less than 30% of that figure,” he said.
“These figures are not very high, and a solution should be worked out to strike a balance or to transfer excess trade resources so that Iran will be able to increase its exports more than ever before,” he said.
- source : IRAN NEWS