Domestic Economy

Trade Development Center Planned in Armenia

Trade Development Center Planned in ArmeniaTrade Development Center Planned in Armenia

Trade between Iran and Armenia currently stands at $340 million, over 90% of which pertains to Armenia’s import of Iranian goods

Iran is planning to establish a trade development center in Armenia, which would become a gateway for Iranian exports to different countries including Georgia and Russia, member of the board of directors at the Iran-Armenia joint chamber of commerce, Hervik Yarijanian said on Monday.

Observing that Iran is eager to expand trade with its northern neighbors, he said Armenia provides Iran easy and cheap access to other countries, even the European markets, through railway, Mehr news agency reported.

Trade between Iran and Armenia currently stands at $340 million, over 90% of which pertains to Armenia’s import of Iranian goods, with Iran having a positive trade balance. The figure is expected to reach $1 billion in the coming years, based on the agreements between the two countries.

Iran and Armenia trade exchange so far is mostly confined to energy with Iran supplying Armenia with gas and Armenia exporting electricity to Iran. Both countries have initiated joint projects in recent times.  

One of the most important projects is the Meghri hydro power plant, which was initiated in December 2012 wherein Iran undertook the estimated $320 million cost of the construction in exchange for 15 years of the plant’s total revenues. The plant, which is scheduled to be officially launched in 2017, will provide 90 MW of electricity to Iran and 80 MW to Armenia.  

Underlining the role of joint chambers in boosting trade between countries, he said Tehran will use the opportunities provided by the chambers of commerce to develop trade with other countries, “at a time when the economy is affected by international sanctions.”

Armenia’s membership in the Eurasian Economic Union (EEU) is seen by Iran as an opportunity which could facilitate Iran’s access to EEU’s integrated single market of 183 million people with gross domestic products of over $4 trillion.

  Trade With Hungary

Yarijanian, who is also a member of Iran-Hungary joint chamber of commerce, further noted that the Iranian private sector and Hungary are planning to establish a joint enterprise to increase bilateral trade.

“The volume of annual trade between Iran and Hungary currently stands at about $40 million, with the trade balance in Iran’s favor,” he said, noting that the figure is expected to reach $100 million by the end of September 2015.

He pointed to the upcoming visit of an economic delegation from Hungary to Iran, possibly to invest in Aras Free Trade Zone in northwestern Iran.

According to the official, talks are currently underway between Tehran and Budapest for joint investments in food industry.

Iran and Hungary have sought to boost economic ties over as part of President Hassan Rouhani administration’s aim of improving economic relations with the world.

The Trade Promotion Organization of Iran (TPO), a body that oversees Iran’s trade interests with other countries, recently opened a permanent trade center in Budapest with the aim of boosting Iran’s non-oil exports to Central and Eastern Europe.