Economy, Domestic Economy

Iran, Kazakhstan Expand Agricultural Cooperation

Iran, Kazakhstan Expand Agricultural CooperationIran, Kazakhstan Expand Agricultural Cooperation

Iran and Kazakhstan discussed agricultural cooperation through investment, trade and land leasing projects.

In a meeting with Kazakhstan’s Minister of Investments and Development Asset Issekeshev in Tehran on Monday, Iran’s Minister of Agriculture Mahmoud Hojjati said, “Both countries have huge potential in the agricultural sector, however cooperation is limited.”

Kazakhstan is one of the candidates for Iran’s land outsourcing program known as “Beyond Border Farming”. Based on the program, Iran is going to lease up to 500,000 hectares of foreign land to cultivate water-intensive crops, IRNA reported.

Hojjati said that in the past few months, Iranian companies have made several deals with Kazakhstan regarding Iran’s land leasing program.

Issekeshev said his country is ready to supply meat, fodder and cereals to Iran.

AKIpress, an independent news outlet based in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, on Monday cited the press service of the Chamber of Commerce of Kazakhstan as saying that the country’s exporters have signed a $30-million long-term contract to supply beef and mutton to Iran.

“I am convinced that the contract will pave the way for strategic cooperation between the two nations. Kazakhstani and Iranian businessmen display keen interest in bilateral cooperation. I’m sure we can step up commercial and economic cooperation between our countries and give a new impulse to its development,” Chairman of the Chamber of Commerce of Kazakhstan Meirbek Mazhitov said after signing the contract.

  Iranian-Kazakh Business Forum

The Kazakh minister, leading a 250-strog delegation of businessmen active in oil and gas, petrochemical, chemical, construction, electricity, textile, leather, food, agriculture, transportation, mining and metal, pharmaceutical and banking sectors, arrived in Tehran on Saturday to attend Iran-Kazakhstan Business Forum.

“The Kazakh mission is the biggest Central Asian trade team to visit Iran,” said Minister of Industries, Mining and Trade Mohammad Reza Nematzadeh at the forum held on Sunday.

Issekeshev noted that Iran’s strategic location and its connection to the Caspian Sea, the Persian Gulf and the Sea of Oman waterways give it a special advantage.

“Through Iran, Kazakhstan can strengthen its ties with neighboring and world countries. We could trade with Iran through rail, road and sea routes,” he said.

In cooperation with Turkmenistan, Iran and Kazakhstan have been working to activate a 926-kilometer Kazakhstan-Turkmenistan-Iran railroad connecting the Eurasian countries to Central Asia via Iran.

The international rail link, which was inaugurated last December, runs 80 kilometers within Iran, 700 kilometers in Turkmenistan and more than 120 kilometers in Kazakhstan.

Both countries have also been in talks to establish direct flights from Kazakh ports to Iranian Caspian ports and other northern cities to facilitate passenger and freight transportation between the nations.

Issekeshev said Astana will provide Iranian companies with all sorts of permits to bolster bilateral trade.