Turkey to open Razi-Kapikoy border in ‘two months’

Razi-Kapikoy crossing is the only border with both rail and road facilities between the two countries and its opening will play a very important role in increasing Iran-Turkey bilateral trade.

26 January 2019
ID : 11795
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The Razi-Kapikoy border between Iran and Turkey will open in two months, president of the Unión of Chambers of Commerce and Commodity Exchanges of Turkey has announced.

“Regarding the Razi-Kapikoy border, we as the unión of the Chambers of Commerce are the contractor of the construction on the Turkish side,” said Rifat Hisarciklioglu, President of the Union of Chambers of Commerce and Commodity Exchanges of Turkey (TOBB) in a meeting with Gholam Hossein Shafei, President of Iran Chamber of Commerce, Industries, Mines and Agriculture (ICCIMA).

“For certain, we will invite you to the inauguration ceremony,” he added, pointo to Shafei during his meeting at the ICCIMA headquarters in Tehran.

He criticised lack of good road infrastructure on the Iranian side of the border, saying “heavy Turkish trucks can’t pass on this road; naturally Iran should improve it,” said Hisarciklioglu on Saturday.  

He urged the Iranian government to speed up preparatory work so “the second customs and border crossing between Iran and Turkey open soon,” the high-profile Turkish economic authority said, stressing the border’s importance in upgrading the bilateral trade volume between the two neighbouring countries.

A screenshot of Hisarciklioglu's tweet about his meeting with the ICCIMA president on Saturday in Tehran 

Earlier, Shahram Adamnezhad, deputy for transport at Iran’s Road and Urban Development Ministry had said Tehran is accelerating construction work at the border located in Iran’s Western Azerbaijan Province.  

Some 520,000 people cross the Razi-Kapikoy border between Iran and Turkey each year. The crossing is the only border with both rail and road facilities between the two countries.

A view of the Razi-Kapikoy border between Iran and Turkey 

Financial transactions

ICCIMA president said he has heard “good news” that monetary dealings between Iran and Turkey will be resumed once again at the Turkish state-bank Ziraat Bankası. “Mr Erdogan has ordered the [resumption] of Iranian money at Ziraat Bankasi after it was slow in processing the transactions,” said Shafei.

He reiterated his proposal for barter trade between Tehran and Ankara in the face of restored unilateral US sanctions that have stifled international financial channels with Iran.

“I think if barter trade is put in place between Iran and Turkey, the bilateral trade volume will rise and all the restrictions will be removed,” said Gholam Hossein Shafei, who had also earlier called for such commodity-for-commodity trade between the two countries.

Iran and Turkey are aiming to increase their annual trade volume to up to 30 billion dollars. “It’s not hard to achieve this target and I propose chambers of commerce in two countries help their governments in this regard,” highlighted president of Iran Chamber of Commerce.

President of the Unión of Chambers of Commerce and Commodity Exchanges of Turkey welcomed the proposal but stressed “outstanding problems” on the way, including “ban on import of certain commodities from other countries.” He criticised Tehran for not exempting Turkey from the new measure that’s aimed at boosting Iran’s domestic production.

Rifat Hisarciklioglu said the new Iranian government decision to stop import of certain goods, has “practically annulled” a Preferential Trade Agreement (PTA) that’s been agreed between Iran and Turkey. “The PTA includes some 60 items, some of which have been banned recently,” he told Shafei. “For a barter trade agreement, such decisions do not help,” he emphasied.

TOBB president mentioned that “Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has always announced it’s against sanctions on Iran and if you want to bypass them, we need to have commodity-for-commodity agreements and that requires all items be on the import and export lists,” according to Hisarciklioglu.

Shafei said the Iranian government has agreed to revise the decision to exempt some countries such as Turkey from export of certain goods. “During the last visit by Iranian President Hassan Rouhani to Turkey last December, he announced the measure will be revised,” stressed the Iran Chamber President.

Road transport

Rifat Hisarciklioglu went on to stress that although Turkey uses Iran to transit goods and export commodities to Central Asia and Qatar, there are several issues such as the difference in diesel prices as well as delays in issuing new entry papers for the lorries, that are impeding faster expansion of their economic cooperation. “This will increase the final price,” he warned, asking the removal of “all obstacles”.

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