TEHRAN (Iran News) – Iran and the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) are set to begin negotiations on a full-fledged joint free trade zone in the near future, the press service of the Eurasian Economic Commission (EEC) announced.
As reported by BelTA, the decision has been made following a meeting between Chairman of the EEC Board Mikhail Myasnikovich and Iranian Energy Minister Reza Ardakanian, who is also the head of the two countries’ Joint Economic Committee, on the sidelines of the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum.
“The EAEU made the appropriate decisions regarding the launch of the negotiations in December 2020. The EAEU member states are currently finalizing the mandate for the negotiations,” Mikhail Myasnikovich said.
“We expect to complete the necessary procedures and prepare for the talks by the end of June 2021,” he added.
The interim free trade agreement between the EAEU and Iran has already become an effective tool for advancing cooperation, Mikhail Myasnikovich noted.
“In 2020, the Iran-EAEU trade totaled $2.9 billion, growing by 18.5 percent over 2019,” he pointed out. “In Q1 2021, the EAEU export to Iran rose by 43.5 percent year-on-year, and import increased by 20 percent. The EAEU-Iran trade went up by over a third and totaled $1.15 billion. This was possible thanks to our joint work,” Mikhail Myasnikovich said.
The parties also spoke in detail about the most promising infrastructure projects of the EAEU member states and Iran, including the North-South international transport corridor, and about other joint initiatives.
The interim free trade agreement between the Eurasian Economic Union member states and Iran was signed on 17 May 2018 and entered into force on 27 October 2019. The parties shall enter into negotiations on signing a full-fledged free trade agreement in line with Article 1.3 of the interim agreement.