Economy, Business And Markets

Iran, Turkey Agree to Boost Agricultural Ties

Iran, Turkey Agree to Boost Agricultural Ties
Iran, Turkey Agree to Boost Agricultural Ties

Turkey’s Minister of Food, Agriculture and Livestock Faruk Celik emphasized potential opportunities for agricultural trade with Iran.

Speaking at a joint news conference in Ankara alongside Iranian Agriculture Minister Mahmoud Hojjati on Wednesday, Celik said, “We have decided to enhance collaboration in the agriculture sector to increase trade volume between Turkey and Iran from $10 billion to $30 billion.”

According to the Islamic Republic of Iran’s Customs Administration, Iran exported $1.3 billion worth of non-oil goods to Turkey over the last Iranian year (March 2015-16), registering a 66.5% drop compared to the previous year, Daily Sabah reported.

Imports stood at $3 billion, marking a decline of 23%.

IRICA’s latest statistics on bilateral trade show exports amounted to $2.3 billion during the first six months of the current Iranian year (started March 20) to record a 342% jump year-on-year. Imports stood at $1.3 billion, indicating an 18% decline.

The exported commodities included gas, copper, aluminum, steel, zinc, petrochemicals, watermelon, pistachios and raisin. Bananas, grains, cigarettes, tobacco, machinery, wood, cotton, beans, steel, pharmaceuticals, paper, shampoos and apparel were the main imports.

Iran is also a major oil exporter to Turkey.

Celik said there was more potential for business, as the total population of Turkey and Iran is around 160 million.

“For Turkey, Iran is a gate opening to Asia, and for Iran, Turkey is a gate opening to Europe,” he noted.

Celik said transportation problems in agricultural trade were also discussed during the meeting.

“The two countries will share their own experiences for modernization of the agriculture sector,” he said.

Hojjati said Turkey and Iran had been collaborating on political and economic areas as two friendly countries.

“Turkey gave significant support to us during the embargo period, hence we are always grateful to Turkey,” said Hojjati, referring to western-backed sanctions against Iran over its nuclear program.

“Similarly, Iranian officials did not sleep a wink when that treacherous coup bid was performed against Turkey and they announced support for Turkey,” he added.

The anti-Iran sanctions were lifted in January this year after the country agreed to limit its nuclear program.

The Iranian minister said Turkey and Iran had the potential to complement each other in terms of agricultural trade, and added: “We will try to seize this potential.”

As IRNA reported, two memorandums of understanding were signed between the two ministers at the conclusion of Wednesday talks.

Heading a high-ranking delegation, Hojjati arrived in Turkey on October 25 to take part in the sixth meeting of Iran-Turkey Committee for Agricultural Cooperation.

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