Czech Republic seeks alternative financial channels to boost trade with Iran

Czech Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Eduard Muřický says INSTEX is not functional yet so Prague needs to look for other ways of keeping up trade with Iran.

15 May 2019
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A high-level Czech trade official says it needs an alternative financial system apart from INSTEX to reverse a downgrade of bilateral economic ties following US unilateral sanctions.

“INSTEX cab be used to reach the set goals although this instrument has not been operationalised yet,” said Czech Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Eduard Muřický on Tuesday during a meeting with Hossein Selah Varzi, Vice President of Iran Chamber of Commerce, Industries, Mines and Agriculture (ICCIMA) in Tehran.

“So, it’s necessary that besides this mechanism, other models and patterns be devised to promote our bilateral ties,” he added, without giving further information.

The Czech official noted that both countries’ chambers of commerce can serve as a bridge between Iranian and Czech businesses to raise awareness about economic opportunities.

On Monday, EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini said first financial transactions through INSTEX could take place in a few weeks.

Selah Varzi welcomed the news, saying it could help Iran’s “international situation”.

However, he called for “innovative ways” to keep up trade between Iran and Czech Republic.

Iranian exports to the East European country saw a decline of nearly 50% in value and some 14% in weight during the last Persian year 1397 (20 March, 2018-20 March, 2019), according to the latest figures published by the Islamic Republic of Iran Customs Administration (IRICA). Iranian imports from the Czech Republic also decreased during the same period. 


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