Domestic Economy

Tehran, Moscow to Sign Investment Guarantee Deal

Tehran, Moscow to Sign Investment Guarantee DealTehran, Moscow to Sign Investment Guarantee Deal

Iran and Russia will sign an investment guarantee accord during a one-day visit by Russian President Vladimir Putin to Iran, announced Iran’s Minister of Communications and Information Technology and the Co-Chairman of Iran-Russia Cooperation Commission Mahmoud Vaezi.

“The agreement will pave the way for further investments,” he said.

According to Kremlin foreign policy aide, Yuri Ushakov, the Russian president will visit Iran to take part in the Gas Exporting Countries Forum on November 23.

“It’s logical that during the course of participation in the summit, naturally, there will be bilateral contacts and meetings with the hosts, and with other countries participating on the same level,” Ushakov said.

The high-profile visit will come on the heels of the 12th session of Iran-Russia Cooperation Commission held in Moscow last week where Iranian and Russian officials signed five memoranda of understanding on energy, marine and banking cooperation.

The MoUs pertained to air-sea search and rescue, fighting marine pollution, exploration of water resources, interbank financing, cooperation in electricity generation and the commission’s final agreement, Vaezi said in a rundown on his Russia visit.

Around 280 Russian organizations and companies, and 60 representatives from Iran’s public and private sectors took part in meetings during November 10-12.

The two sides vowed to raise annual bilateral trade to $40 billion based on a roadmap devised on the final day, according to the Iranian minister.

“The agreement [on the roadmap] is an opportunity to revamp relations between the two neighboring countries,” IRNA quoted the Iranian minister as saying.

During Vaezi’s visit to Moscow other key issues, including Russia’s plan to open a $5 billion credit line for Iran, the idea of establishing a joint bank, Iran’s membership in the Eurasian Development Bank and the use of national currencies in two-way trade, were also discussed.

  Russian Credit Lines

Russia will open a $7-billion credit line for exports to Iran in a few days, said director of the Center for Contemporary Iranian Studies, Rajab Safarov, in meeting with head of Lorestan Industries, Mining and Trade Organization, Mohammad Reza Safikhani, on Saturday.

Earlier, Russia’s Energy Minister Alexander Novak said, “Russia’s state Vnesheconombank and Iran’s Central Bank are in talks for a €2-billion loan to Iran, while the two sides are also in talks over intergovernmental loan from Russia to Iran worth $5 billion.”

The loan is expected to boost trade between the two countries.

Safarov regarded the move as unprecedented in the last 24 years and said Moscow and Tehran have the potential to become trade partners in different sectors such as technology and agriculture, to name a few.

The Russian official blamed the minimal trade between the two countries on lack of knowledge about each other’s potential.

“Food, agricultural products and confectionary constitute a major part of Russia’s $100-billion imports. This is because many of these items are produced in Iran with high quality,” he said.

Before it plunged to $2 billion, Iran-Russia trade stood at $4 billion in 2013.

Safikhani hoped for better trade relations between the two neighboring countries and called for the establishment of a “Russia-Lorestan Joint Office”.