US sanctions to help Iran, Russia boost trade: Iran Chamber president

Iran should make most of the current sanctions to look at its biggest northern neighbour, Russia, as well as Eurasia. This is the message that head of the Iranian private sector is trying to hammer home in meeting his Russian counterpart in Tehran.

9 December 2018
ID : 1677
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Iran should make most of the current sanctions to look at its biggest northern neighbour, Russia, as well as Eurasia. This is the message that head of the Iranian private sector is trying to hammer home in meeting his Russian counterpart in Tehran.

President of the Russian Chamber of Commerce, Sergei Katyrin, (left), holds talks with his Iranian counterpart, Gholam Hosein Shafei, (right), in Iran Chamber of Commerce in Tehran.

Iran Chamber of Commerce, Industries, Mines and Agriculture (ICCIMA) president has called on Moscow and Tehran to further facilitate economic cooperation in the wake of unilateral US sanctions on Iran.

Gholam Hossein Shafei, who was meeting his Russian counterpart, Sergey Katyrin, in Tehran on Saturday, said the chambers of commerce in both countries must play a bigger role in helping the Iranian and Russian businessmen in overcoming the challenges.

“These days, we are witnessing new opportunities for cooperation between Iranian and Russian businessmen and its necessary that both countries' chambers of commerce help remove the barriers in their way. They should also ask their respective governments to pave the way for more bilateral economic ties under the new US sanctions”, said ICCIMA president.

“The biggest outstanding problem in Russia-Iran trade is the lack of a banking channel which, should it exist, will help boost mutual commerce”, said Katyrin, who also stressed the need for the use of Russian technologies in this area.

The two also discussed the upcoming Iran-Russia business forum which will be hosted by the Russian side in the southwestern city of Saratov in July 2019. 

“The meetings would provide th eopportunity to discuss the barriers that Iranian and Russian businessmen face when it comes to boosting their trade following the acceptance of the Eurasian Economic Union to create a free trade zone with Iran”, highlighted Shafei.

Last May, the Eurasian Economic Union, comprised of Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Armenia, agreed to let Iran into its free trade zone. Russian President, Vladimir Putin, ratified the decision in November. However, Iran needs to improve its infrastructure in a bid to augment its trade with the five eurasian countries. “Iran doesn’t have huge capabilities in offering port services and cargo transport, especially refrigerated food and agricultural goods transportation. If we want to increase the trade volume between the two countries, we need to improve the maritime transport as well”, added the president of Iran Chamber of Commerce.  

The Iranian businessman emphasised that the free trade zone will help Tehran to increase its exports to Eurasia.

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