Economy, Business And Markets

Iran-Afghan Economic Commission Convenes

Iran-Afghan Economic Commission ConvenesIran-Afghan Economic Commission Convenes

Trade with Afghanistan can increase to at least $6 billion per year from the current $2.5 billion, said the Minister of Economy Ali Tayyebnia.

“The proximity of Iranian and Afghan markets helps reduce transportation costs and consequently improve economic exchanges between the two nations,” he was quoted as saying by Mehr News Agency in a meeting with his Afghan counterpart, Eklil Ahmad Hakimi, who was in Tehran for the fifth session of the Iran-Afghanistan Economic Commission.

The joint commission was held in Tehran after a four-year hiatus on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Referring to the recent agreements signed by the two sides on mutual investment and customs cooperation, the Iranian official called for finalization of a preliminary accord to prevent double taxation.

The Afghan minister said his country is eager to expand insurance and banking relations with Iran and called for setting a timetable to remove the existing trade barriers.

On August 8, the two neighbors signed a preliminary agreement to use Chabahar Port as a trade hub with efficient customs procedures pertaining to both shipping tariffs and time of clearance of goods. The agreement was reached in a meeting between Masoud Karbasian, director general of Islamic Republic of Iran Customs Administration and his Afghan counterpart Ahmad Reshad Popal.

Iran exported 1.5 million tons of non-oil goods worth $765.4 million to Afghanistan during the first four months of the current fiscal year (March 20-July 21), which shows a 5% decrease compared to the similar period last year, according to the Islamic Republic of Iran Customs Administration.

Petrochemicals, urea, carpet, apple, pistachio, tomato paste, date and chocolates were among the main exports.

Iran imported more than 9,300 tons valued at $8.7 million were imported from the neighboring country. Sesame, coke, lentils and vegetables were the main imports.