Iranian parliament passes FTA with Eurasian Economic Union

The Iranian lawmakers have voted in favour of the bill that allows Tehran’s entrance into a Free Trade Zone (FTZ) with the five-member council, Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Armenia.

10 June 2019
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The Iranian lawmakers have voted in favour of the bill that allows Tehran’s entrance into a Free Trade Zone (FTZ) with the five-member council, Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Armenia.

Iranian parliament approves Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU). ICANA (ISLAMIC CONSULTATIVE ASSEMBLY NEWS AGENCY)

The Iranian parliament has passed a government bill on a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU), paving the way for Tehran to join a Free Trade Zone (FTZ) with the five-member union.

The one-article bill was approved by 150 votes in favour during the early Monday session of the parliament. 10 members of parliament voted against, and five abstained.

According to the bill, parliament obliges the Ministry of Industry, Mine and Trade (MIMT) to submit yearly reports on how the agreement is being implemented regarding the expansion of Iran’s export destinations and preventing economic losses of the Iranian manufacturers.

Also, the Majlis says the government needs to obtain its green light after five years of the agreement’s implementation to continue the preferential tariffs as well as the products that are subject to them in the agreement.

Earlier last week, Iranian Energy Minister Reza Ardakanian had said the bill would be debated and voted in the consultative assembly, also known as Majlis in Persian, “in the coming days”.

Also, Armenian Economy Minister Tigran Khachatryan said on Sunday that the FTA will enter into force before summer.

The agreement has also been approved by all the five member states’ parliaments and was awaiting Iran’s green light. 

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

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 their way to the Union countries benefiting from the low tariffs. Dairy, food, fruit and industrial products will be other items on the list.

Armenian Primer Minsiter Nikol Pashinyan visited Iran in March in a bid to hold talks and carry out “serious preparations” for Iran’s faster accession to the Russia-led bloc.

“The EAEU-Iran Free Trade Agreement creates new opportunities for trade and economic cooperation,” said Pashinyan in an interview with Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA) ahead of his visit to Iran. “In the coming months, serious preparations are needed,” he stressed.

Head of the Armenian government called the FTA between Iran and the Eurasian Economic Union (UAEU) “new component” in Iran-Armenia relations. “I mean the EAEU-Iran free trade agreement, which will open up new prospects for trade and investment between participating countries,” Pashinyan was cited as saying by IRNA.

Iran’s exports to Armenia stood at a little bit over 132 million dollars during the past 11 months, according to the latest figures published by the Iran Customs Administration (IRICA). The data show 42.37% rise in comparison to the same period last year.

Iran Chamber of Commerce, Industries, Mines and Agriculture (ICCIMA) has called for the creation of a joint council of all chambers of commerce of the five countries and Iran. 

Daniel Ibrayev, a member of the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) Trade Council, says the Central Asian economic entity and Iran are taking two steps to coordinate efforts and moves in a bid to pave the way for a smoother trade relations once Tehran enters the Free Trade Zone with the five-member body.

Video: Ibrayev discusses steps for smooth trade ties between EAEU and Iran 

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