Domestic Economy

Conference Will Chart Ways to Expand Iran-Turkey Trade

Conference Will Chart Ways to Expand Iran-Turkey Trade
Conference Will Chart Ways to Expand Iran-Turkey Trade

Iran accounts for barely 5% of Turkey’s annual $259 billion volume of imports, Abbas Khaleghitabar, a senior official at Iran’s ministry of industries, mine and trade, said on Saturday ahead of a trade conference with Turkey that is scheduled to open in Tehran early March.

“Iran annually exports $11.5 billion worth of different commodities to Turkey, of which the value of non-oil exports amounts to less than $2 billion,” he was quoted by Mehr news agency as saying, noting that Iran’s non-oil exports to Turkey should increase to at least $3.5 billion in order for Iran to be able to keep pace with Turkey’s exports to Iran.

While crude oil and natural gas account for the lion’s share of Iran’s exports to Turkey, polymers, petrochemical products, cement and related items used in construction, food commodities are among Iran’s main non-oil exports to its neighboring country.

Turkish exports to Iran are mainly machinery, motor vehicles, iron and steel products, electric devices, and tobacco products.

Khaleghitabar said that Iran and Turkey can increase their trade exchange, once they reach consensus on adopting certain measures to facilitate bilateral trade, noting that customs cooperation, preferential tariffs, establishment of joint industrial towns and manufacturing units are among such measures that would ultimately help both countries to boost bilateral trade.

“Turkey was the sixth major importer of Iranian goods in the first ten months of the current year, while it was the fourth biggest exporter to Iran during the same period,” he said, adding that last year Turkey was the fifth biggest exporter to its neighboring country.

Pointing to the upcoming trade conference with Turkey, he said top officials from both countries including Iran’s deputy industry minister, head of Tehran’s chamber of commerce and Turkey’s ambassador in Tehran as well as traders and businessmen from both countries will be taking part in the event.

  Iran-Turkey Effective Trade Conference

The conference entitled “Iran-Turkey Effective Trade” is slated to open March 3 with the aim of facilitating trade between the two influential Middle Eastern countries.

“Trade exchange with Turkey is on the rise,” Khaleghitabar said, expressing hope that the upcoming conference will help both countries to increase their bilateral trade.

In September 2014, Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani said in a meeting with Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in New York that Tehran and Ankara seek to increase their trade exchanges to $30 billion by the end of March 20, 2015.

According to Turkish official statistics, the total value of trade between Tehran and Ankara stood at $6.5 billion in the first half of 2014. It rose to $22 billion in 2012 before dipping to $14.5 billion in the following year, largely due to the economic sanctions imposed on Tehran by the West over its nuclear energy program.

Back in June 2014, Iran and Turkey signed 10 economic cooperation agreements during a visit to Ankara by the Iranian president. The two sides also signed a preferential trade agreement during Erdogan’s visit to Tehran in the same month. The Turkish parliament, in turn, approved the PTA on September 10.