TEHRAN (Iran News) – In a webinar which was held by Tehran Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Mine (TCCIM), Iran and India explored ways for expansion of trade ties and investments.
TCCIM and India’s PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry in a joint collaboration held the webinar on Investment and Trade Opportunities of Iran and India where some economic and industrial activists of both countries as well as senior officials of the TCCIMA and PHD and representatives of embassies of the two countries were present.
In the webinar, Head of TCCIM Mr. Masoud Khansari said that holding such events bespeaks of interests of the private sectors of both countries for broadening the bilateral trade and economic relations and noted that some challenges and problems exist in the trade ties of Iran and India which has intensified in recent years.
He reiterated that the current trade condition of Iran and India requires efforts of both sides for achieving solutions and strategies for easing bilateral trade. He went on to say that the main and important problem in broadening the trade ties is transfer of money and problems because of lack of banking relations, adding that so far several rounds of talks have been held between the two countries for establishing branch of bank as well as exchange through a mechanism by using Indian national currency rupee but unfortunately they have been in vain.
Khansari went on to say that the two countries need to launch a credit line for supporting the prioritized exporting sectors with an eye to minimize the bureaucratic complication of trade. He also said his second concern is failure in implementing the preferential trade agreement which has been signed between the two countries in 2019, adding that it is necessary for both sides to talk on changing the some items of goods on this agreement, noting that he know talks are underway but it should be accelerated.
He also said trade dispute is another issue which is the concern of the economic activists of the two countries and it is because of the weak trade contracts and called for holding a training workshop on preparing the trade contracts by the TCCIM and PHD to minimize the disputes or refer the disputes to the arbitration centers to resolve the differences very fast.
Khansari went on to say that Iran and India can diversify fields of their trade ties by expanding it to the fields like petrochemical, chemicals, agriculture, auto, pharmaceuticals, machineries, IT and joint ventures. He said by containing the pandemic both countries should work hard to bring bilateral trade back to the level before the pandemic and invited head of PHD to lead a trade delegation to Tehran to get familiar with high trade and industrial capacities of the country and exchange views with economic activists of Iran’s private sectors.
Then Head of PHD Mr. Pradeep Multani, for his part, said that the pandemic has made difficult travel of Indian investors worldwide, adding that the ties between Iran and India for thousands of year has been continued due to the meaningful interactions and they have many cultural and traditional commonalities.
He said the trade volume between Iran and New Delhi was around $1.1b in 2021 and India’s exports to Iran included rice, tea, sugar, fresh fruit, medicines, artificial fibers, electric machineries, artificial jewelries, noting that in return India imported dried fruits, chemical and mineral materials, glass and glassware, precious stones and leather.
Multani went on to say that India’s joint investment in Iran between 1990 to March 2021 was $7.5b and major Indian companies like OVL, SR and Tata Steel are present in Iran, reiterating that huge gas and oil reserves as well as strategic location of Iran has turned it into an attractive destination for investment by Indians.
He then said choosing Iran by India as a gateway to the Central Asia and Afghanistan has had positive consequences for materializing the dream of Iran to become a trade and transit hub in the region and therefore industries of India and Iran should work together for boosting trade cooperation via joint investment and transfer of technology with taking a united approach.