Economy, Business And Markets

Iran, India to Expand Trade

Iran, India to Expand Trade
Iran, India to Expand Trade

Officials from Iran and India say the two sides are ready to reduce trade barriers and increase their economic ties, IRIB reported on Saturday.

Describing the current volume of trade between the two countries as unsatisfactory, the director of the exports bureau of the Trade Promotion Organization (TPO) said that this amount can increase once the existing barriers are removed.

“Iran is willing to develop long-term trade ties with India,” said Mahmoud Bazari, adding that as a prerequisite for this aim trade restrictions must be reduced so that Iranian and Indian businesspeople can easily exchange commodities.

High tariffs on exports to India have restricted Iranian export to the country, he said in a meeting with Sushmit Biswas, economic and commercial  counselor of the embassy of India in Tehran. Bazari expressed hope that the restrictions would be eased soon in a bid to enhance trade between the two countries.

At the moment, Iran exports agricultural products, nuts, saffron, and petrochemicals to India, Bazari said, adding that “there are still many other Iranian products that can compete in the Indian market.”

The TPO official also said that Iran is ready to attract foreign investment to develop various industries, including steel and mining.

“We invite Indians to invest in our herbal medicine,” Bazari stated. The Indian official, for his part, expressed the willingness of his country in developing trade with Iran, especially in the field of herbal medicine.

Referring to abundant natural resources and an ancient culture of herbal medicine in Iran and India, Biswas called the industry a common heritage for both countries.

 Chabahar Development

Biswas also pointed to his country’s growing interest in investing in the southern Iranian port of Chabahar, saying that a major Indian company has recently visited the zone and is mulling over undertaking the port development project.

Last month, India announced that it will float a company to develop Chabahar Port. New Delhi aims to take advantage of a thaw in Tehran’s relations with world powers.

The port of Chabahar in southeast Iran is central to India’s efforts to open up a route to landlocked Afghanistan where it has developed close security ties and economic interests.

Iran and six world powers are engaged in talks to agree on a deal easing sanctions against Tehran before a November 24 deadline. The powers want Iran to scale back its uranium enrichment program. Iran says the program is for peaceful purposes.

India plans to sign an agreement with Iran for the development of the port and New Delhi intends to lease two berths at Chabahar for 10 years, a statement from the Indian government said.

The planned Indian company will invest $85.21 million in one year to convert the berths into a container terminal and a multi-purpose cargo terminal, the statement said, adding India would consider the participation of Iranian firms if needed.