Domestic Economy

Iran, India in PTA Talks

Iran, India in PTA Talks Iran, India in PTA Talks

Head of Trade Promotion Organization (TPO), Valiollah Afkhamirad proposed a preferential trade agreement between the Iranian and Indian governments on certain commodities, in a meeting with the Additional Secretary to India's Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Rajani Ranjan Rashmi in Tehran.

"Establishing a preferential trade agreement (PTA) for selected commodities must be placed on both governments' agendas, to help increase two-way trade, IRNA reported on Saturday.

Noting that India imposes relatively higher tariffs on the import of agricultural products from Iran compared to other countries, the official called on the Indian government to reduce the import tariffs to facilitate export of products such as saffron, pistachio, dates, kiwi, apple and pomegranate from Iran.

He invited Indian investors to participate in infrastructure and transportation projects in Chabahar in southeast Iran, noting that Indian investors' participation in constructive cooperation with Iran "is guaranteed to generate investment return and benefits for both countries."

Underlining the benefits of organizing specialized exhibitions for introducing different products and services, Afkhamirad called for reciprocal exhibitions by Iran and India to further expand cooperation.

The official referred to the problems faced by Iranian traders in registering their companies in India, noting that registering a company in India is a time-consuming process. He suggested simplifying the procedure to encourage further involvement of Iranian businessmen in India markets.

Using the national currency (rial) to trade with India was another issue addressed in the meeting. Observing that the matter is a responsibility of the Central Bank of Iran (CBI), Afkhamirad said the CBI will be asked to discuss the matter and announce the final decision. Meanwhile, he said: "Monetary transactions between the two countries can be facilitated through cooperation between the eight Iranian banks which are not in the EU sanction list and India's UCO bank."

The TPO head also underlined the need for establishing a joint trade committee, noting that it would help regulate bilateral trade by removing the obstacles.

Noting that the quantity of tea harvested in Iran's northern Gilan Province has reduced over the past years, he asked the Indian companies to help Iranian tea farmers to improve their crop and product quality with the help of new technologies.

Rashmi underlined the need for implementing preferential tariffs between the two countries, saying: "India is ready to hold discussions in this regard and prepare a list of commodities for implementing the preferential trade. For this purpose, some decisions are required to be made on the mechanisms between the two countries to promote mutual relations."

"Iran is among India's major trade partners. Even critical times have not been able to undermine the cordial relations," said the Indian official, promising to resolve any difficulties faced by Iranian traders who wish to register companies in India.

He also spoke of a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to be signed soon,aimed at facilitating investments of Indian companies in the Port of Chabahar and other free and special economic zones in Iran.