Domestic Economy

Iran, Kazakhstan Agree to Boost Goods Traffic to 4m Tons a Year

Iran, Kazakhstan Agree to Boost Goods Traffic to 4m Tons a Year
Iran, Kazakhstan Agree to Boost Goods Traffic to 4m Tons a Year

As part of the two-day visit to Iran by Kazakh Deputy Premier and Trade and Integration Minister Serik Zhumangarin on Oct. 31-Nov. 1, the two countries signed a memorandum of understanding to increase bilateral goods traffic to 4 million tons a year.
Opportunities for Kazakh agricultural and industrial products to enter new markets and lifting of barriers along the International North-South Transportation Corridor were key issues in bilateral talks, Kazinform reported.
The two countries enjoy traditionally warm, trust-based relations. High-level meetings held in June, September-October gave an impetus to promoting trade and economic partnership. Following the visits of the heads of state, the two sides reached agreements and tasks were set to speed up Kazakhstan-Iran ties.
“Today Kazakhstan is ready to export wheat and barley, confectionary and baked goods, meat, vegetable oil and other goods. We are interested in boosting mutual sales of agricultural products with Iran worth up to $1 billion and entering the new markets of Pakistan, India, Southeast Asia and East Africa,” Zhumangarin said at the meeting with Iran’s Agriculture Minister Javad Sadatinejad.
Zhumangarin and Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister for Economic Diplomacy Mehdi Safari announced plans to raise trade turnover to $3 billion, focusing on the agro-industrial complex at an Oct. 5 meeting in Astana, Kazakhstan, according to the prime Mminister’s press service, The Astana Times reported.
The two sides addressed the development of the existing three container routes to and through Iran, expressing the desire to increase the cargo flow to 4 million tons per year. They also discussed cooperation in the fields of electricity exchange, pharmaceutical, construction materials and the supply of components for power plants.
Today, Kazakhstan exports grains, oilseeds, vegetable oils, confectionery and meat products, and imports vegetables, fruit and dairy products from Iran.



Kazakh President in Iran

Kazakhstan and Iran agreed to increase mutual trade, strengthen trade and economic cooperation in transport, logistics, manufacturing and agriculture, and expand cultural and humanitarian ties. 
This was announced during the meeting between Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev and his Iranian counterpart Ebrahim Raisi in Tehran on June 19, Akorda reported. 
As part of his official visit to Iran, Tokayev took part in the online launch ceremony of the first container train from Kazakhstan through Iran to Turkey, The Astana Times reported. 
“We are friendly neighbors living near the Caspian Sea, and our history, culture and traditions have much in common. Many Kazakh people found shelter in the hospitable Iranian land during the famine. We will always remember and be grateful to all the Iranian people for this,” Tokayev said during the briefing. 
The agreement for the use of the transport and transit potentials between the two countries is an important one, he added. 
The transport corridor will connect in north-south and east-west directions.
“Today we saw a container train that left Kazakhstan a week ago, and arrived here. This is a major event during difficult geopolitical conditions. We also discussed cooperation in agriculture, industry and transit traffic. I believe these areas will give new impetus to Kazakh-Iranian relations, and the agreements will further strengthen cooperation between our countries,” Tokayev said.
The Iranian president noted that potential opportunities have not yet been fully realized despite the 30th anniversary of the diplomatic relations between the countries.
“The agreements will open up new opportunities for our countries. We should bring mutual trade to $3 billion. We have a potential for cooperation. I believe today’s talks will become a solid foundation for close cooperation between our countries,” he said. 
In addition to the establishment of joint chambers of commerce, Kazakhstan will introduce a visa-free regime for Iranian citizens for 14 days, which will expand cooperation among businesspeople and attract tourists. 
The agricultural sector is one of the main areas of economic cooperation between the two countries. 
Tokayev said Iranian companies in Kazakhstan are involved in cattle breeding, meat processing, dairy production and rice cultivation. Kazakhstan is also ready to expand the range of domestic agricultural products for export to Iran.
“We have established a constructive political dialogue based on good neighborliness and strong friendship,” Tokayev said as he welcomed the Iranian delegation during the meeting. 
“More than 60 contracts have been signed. The intergovernmental economic commission has been operating. Inter-parliamentary relations have been established, inter-regional cooperation is being strengthened and close cooperation has been established as part of the international organizations.”
The Kazakh president expressed interest in implementing joint projects in the light industry and the agro-industrial sector.
“Cultural cooperation plays a special role in strengthening Kazakh-Iranian relations” he added. 
The Kazakh diaspora in Iran serves as a connecting link between the peoples of the two countries that now have the prospect of strengthening cooperation in the study of history and the exchange of historical data.
During his visit, Tokayev met with the Leader of Iran Ayatollah Ali Khamenei to discuss the prospects of Kazakh-Iranian relations. 



Growing Ties

Iran has had good relations with Kazakhstan since the Central Asian country gained independence from the Soviet Union. 
Kazakhstan has especially assisted Iran via oil swap agreements, which have helped the Islamic Republic circumvent sanctions, Giorgio Cafiero wrote for TRT World in January. 
Kazakh Trade Minister Bakhyt Sultanov visited Tehran in February to discuss trade with Iranian Vice President Mohammad Reza Mokhber Dezfouli. In April, a Kazakh consular official endorsed Kazakh companies doing more business in Iran’s Bandar Abbas Port, Al-Monitor reported.
Iran’s exports to Kazakhstan have increased on average 5.07% each year since 1997, while Kazakh exports to Iran have increased by 1.6% yearly in that timeframe. The main Iranian exports to Kazakhstan are fruit and nuts while the main Kazakh exports to Iran are barley and wheat, according to the US-based Observatory of Economic Complexity. 



Rail Connectivity

The Kazakh president has called on his partners in Central Asia to make more active use of the Kazakhstan-Turkmenistan-Iran railroad.
"We encourage our partners to make more active use of the Kazakhstan-Turkmenistan-Iran railroady, the shortest route between East Asia and Persian Gulf countries," Tokayev was also quoted as saying by Interfax at the summit of the heads of the Central Asian countries in Cholpon-Ata.
This new logistical solution makes it possible to cover more than 6,000 km in only 12 days, the president said. 
Kazakh seaports Aktau and Kuryk on the Caspian Sea coast can provide access to the markets of the Middle East and European countries.
Tokayev also said it is necessary to increase transport connectivity in the region and to consistently improve transit conditions.
Nurlan Sauranbayev, chairman of Kazakhstan National Railways who recently accompanied a high-ranking delegation to Iran, said in a meeting with Miad Salehi, the CEO of the Islamic Republic of Iran Railways, that the two sides signed a memorandum of understanding based on which, part of the freight carried along the China-Russia-Europe rail corridor will be redirected through China-Kazakhstan-Iran-Turkey rail transportation route.
They signed another MoU with the aim of expanding Tehran-Tashkent rail transportation ties, set preferential transportation tariffs and help increase transit through the two countries. 
The first container train on the Kazakhstan-Turkmenistan-Iran-Turkey route, carrying a sulfur cargo, arrived in Tehran from Incheh Borun border terminal last month before setting off to Turkey and Europe. It carried 24 wagons and 48 twenty-foot containers.

Add new comment

Read our comment policy before posting your viewpoints