TEHRAN (Iran News) – Iran and Kazakhstan believe they can enhance their trade volume and to raise it to $6b if the grounds and infrastructures are provided, it was announced yesterday in the opening of the two-day Iran-Kazakhstan Business Forum at Iran Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Mine and Agriculture (ICCIMA).
Addressing the opening session of the forum, Head of International Affairs of ICCIMA Mr. Mohammadreza Karbasi pointed to the historic relation and commonalities between the two states and said the Islamic Republic of Iran’s priority is to boost its ties with its neighbors and Kazakhstan, as the biggest and important country in the Central Asia, has a special place in Iran’s policies.
He added that during the COVID pandemic, the borders of Kazakhstan were never closed to Iran’s trade and the trade between the two states continued through their water border. Karbasi said that Iran and Kazakhstan can cooperate in many fields like agriculture, technical and engineering services, oil and petrochemicals, shipping, construction materials and chemicals.
He said Kazakhstan’s membership in the Eurasian Economic Union and Shanghai Cooperation Organization has made the country a special one. He admitted that despite good relations of the two countries, the bilateral trade volume is not satisfactory, adding that the trade volume of the two countries stood at $235m in 2020. He also called for boosting relation between the enterprises and related bodies for enhancing the trade, reiterating that easing visa process will help the bilateral trade to rise.
He also emphasized that activation of the north-south corridor will also enhance the trade and reduce the final cost of goods and cost of transportation.
He also called for improving the marine infrastructures, adding that easing the financial issues and visa can help the two countries to increase their trade. He claimed that according to the studies, Iran and Kazakhstan can increase their trade volume to $6b and it is possible if the grounds are paved.
Karbasi noted that in the past years, some Iranian companies have participated in the developmental projects in Kazakhstan and they have gained reputation. He expressed hope that by improving the infrastructures, the economic relations between the two states would soar.
Meanwhile Kazakhstan’s Ambassador to Iran Askhat Orazbay, for his part, pointed to the good relations between the two states and their commonalities and briefed Kazakhstan’s economic achievements on the eve of the country’s 30th independence anniversary. He added that the interest of the Iranian business in Kazakhstan’s Trade and Economic Mission demonstrates huge mutual interest of the countries in developing the trade and economic ties.
“Over the past year Iranian investors attracted $4.3 million of direct investment into Kazakhstan’s economy. The figure has amounted to $1.7 million in the first quarter of 2021. A host of new projects is being implemented. For instance, Iran signed a contract with the Kazakh side to build a commercial and logistics complex on the territory of the Aktau Sea Port,” Orazbay. He expressed hope the ties between the two countries would bounce.
Meanwhile in his remarks at the Kazakh-Iranian Business Forum within the framework of the event Vice Minister of Trade and Integration Kairat Torebayev noted that Kazakhstan gradually implements its strategic goals aimed at the development of trade and economic relations of the country by integrating hundreds of SMEs with external markets.
“Last year the coronavirus restrictions had a negative impact on Kazakhstan-Iran two-way trade as it dropped by 37%. However, in the past eight months of this year we were able to increase the volume of last year’s trade turnover. This speaks loads about the potential of trade between our countries,” Kairat Torebayev stressed.
He added that the trade volume between the two states stood at $318m in the first eight months of 2021.
Kazakhstan’s Vice Minister of Trade and Integration welcomed the negotiations on turning the interim agreement on a free trade zone between Iran and the Eurasian Economic Union member states into a full-fledged one which will boost trade turnover between our countries.
Head of the ICCIMA Mr. Gholam-Hossein Shafei also pointed to the good relations of the two countries and pointed to some fields for cooperation between Iran and Kazakhstan.
He also called for easing facilities for trade by the governments of the two countries.
President of Iran-Kazakhstan Joint Chamber of Commerce Amir Abedi also raised some proposals for improving the bilateral ties and called for the launch of such a chamber by the Kazakhstan for between exchange of information and preparation for trade.
The Logistics director of Kuryk Port Development of Kazakhstan Mr. Nurzhan Aitbay, for his part, briefed the participants of the investment opportunities of this port and urged Iranians to invest in this port and transit their goods via this port which will be cost-saving.
In conclusion, it was noted that there are all necessary mechanisms in place to step up Kazakhstan-Iran cooperation.
Dozens of Kazakhstani machine building, food, pharmaceutical, and construction materials companies are to showcase their export potential have participated at this event and they hold B2B meetings with their Iranian counterparts.