Iranian parliament to debate Eurasian Economic Union FTA ‘in coming days’

The parliament speaker has promised to put a government bill on joining a Free Trade Zone with the Eurasian Economic Union to the floor’s debate in a bid to ratify the agreement before 17 June.

27 May 2019
ID : 22006
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The Iranian government says a bill to allow Tehran’s entrance into a Free Trade Zone with Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) will be presented to the parliament in the coming days.

“The government has approved the bill on the Free Trade Zone (FTZ) agreement with the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) which was later approved by especialised parliamentary commissions and now it has been sent to the parliament’s bureau,” Iranian Energy Minister Reza Ardakanian was cited as saying on Sunday by Islamic Republic New Agency (IRNA).  

Ardakanian was referring to the bill’s clearance at the Parliament’s National Security and Foreign Policy Commission back in March.

The Iranian minister noted that following talks with parliament Speaker Ali Larijani, who was reelected for the post on Sunday, the latter has promised to present the bill to the floor in the coming days.

He expressed hope that the bill be approved before 17 June when Iran and Russia convene their 15th Joint Commission on Economic and Trade Cooperation in the Iranian capital Tehran.

The two-day event is set to come to an end on 18 June in the Iranian city of Isfahan, according to the local media.

The Iranian Ministry of Energy (MOE) is in charge of organising joint economic and trade cooperation commissions between Iran, Russia and North Caucasus (Russia’s southern provinces).

“We hope the Iranian private sector can help operationalise the Free Trade Agreement (FTA) [with the Eurasian Economic Union] very soon to use this opportunity to be present at the targeted markets,” the Iranian energy minister said.  

Back in May 2017, the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU), comprised of Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Armenia agreed to create a free trade zone with Iran. Later in November that year, Russian President Vladimir Putin ratified the decision.

Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan was in Iran in February to push for preparatory works on Tehran's entering the FTZ.  

The decision allows Iran's entrance into the free trade zone during a 3-year trial period and gives it unlimited access to the five countries’ markets. 

One of the main features of this deal is that Iranian businesses can export their goods under “very low tariffs” to the Eurasian Union. Citrus such as apple, cultivated abundantly across Iran, will be one of those agricultural products that will make its way to the Union countries benefiting from the low tariffs. Dairy, food, fruit and industrial products will be other items on the list. 

In a bid to facilitate trade between Iran and the five member states of the union, Iran Chamber of Commerce proposed the creation of a joint council of all the six countries' chambers of commerce

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