Economy, Business And Markets

Iran, Azerbaijan Plan Joint Bank

Iran, Azerbaijan Plan Joint Bank Iran, Azerbaijan Plan Joint Bank

Iran and Azerbaijan have agreed to establish a joint bank and open branches of the two countries’ banks in Baku and Tehran, Mahmoud Vaezi, minister of communications and information technology, told Trend.

Vaezi said the branches of the new bank will operate in both Azerbaijan and Iran. He added that several private banks of Iran are interested in entering the banking sector of Azerbaijan.

The two countries have limitations in the banking sector now. Therefore, cooperation between banks is not at an appropriate level yet, Vaezi said.

“There is a branch of Bank Melli Iran in Azerbaijan, but it is not active,” the minister said, adding that preliminary talks on these issues were already held, and it is expected that they will be resolved during the visit of the head of the Central Bank of Azerbaijan, Elman Rustamov, to Iran.

Vaezi did not mention the exact date of the visit. He also touched upon the topic of Iranian money blocked in the accounts of Azerbaijani banks, which amount to about $200 million.

“The representatives of the banking sectors of Azerbaijan and Iran are discussing the use of this capital,” he said. “A part of these funds is planned to be directed to the oil sector, and this was discussed during my last visit to Baku. Another part of the funds was directed to increase the capital of Bank Melli Iran.”

Vaezi said that the expansion of cooperation in the banking sector is necessary for the further development of trade relations between Iran and Azerbaijan.

“Currently, trade turnover between our countries is about $500 million,” the minister said. “I think that it’s not a very good indicator for the two neighboring countries and peoples so close to each other. Azerbaijan and Iran have set a goal to increase this figure four times, up to $2 billion.”

Baku’s branch of Bank Melli Iran was opened in 1993. Today, there are 43 banks operating in Azerbaijan and 28 banks in Iran.