Economy, Domestic Economy

Astrakhan Mission Due in Tehran

Astrakhan Mission Due in Tehran Astrakhan Mission Due in Tehran

A 45-strong delegation from Russia’s Astrakhan headed by the province’s governor, Alexander Alexandrovich Zhilkin are due to visit Tehran on July 25 to take part in a meeting of Iran-Russia Chamber of Commerce.

The delegation comprising representatives of Astrakhan’s public and private sectors entered Mazandaran Province on Friday to survey opportunities of bilateral cooperation with provincial officials, industrialists and economic players, IRNA reported.

This is while Iranian Minister of Communications and Information Technology Mahmoud Vaezi, accompanied by a delegation, is scheduled to visit Astrakhan on Tuesday to attend the launching ceremony of Tehran-Astrakhan direct flight.

The Iranian delegation will then head to Moscow where Vaezi will meet Trade Minister of the Eurasian Economic Union Veronica Nikishina on Wednesday to discuss the possibility of free trade between Iran and EEU.

Vaezi also plans to meet with Russian Minister of Energy Alexander Novak, Minister of Communications and Mass Media Nikolai Nikiforov and Minister of Industry and Trade Denis Manturov to discuss further enhancement of interactions between the two countries.

During the 12th session of Iran-Russia Cooperation Commission in Moscow last November, which was jointly chaired by Vaezi and Novak, the two sides pledged to raise annual bilateral trade to $40 billion based on a roadmap devised after three-day marathon talks among representatives from Iran’s public and private sectors and their Russian counterparts.

In 2014, bilateral trade amounted to close to $1.7 billion, which experienced a 30% increase in 2015. Two-way trade showed a 69% increase during the first half of 2016 compared with last year’s corresponding period.

  Free Trade With EEU

The idea of free trade between Iran and members of the Eurasian Economic Union was earlier surveyed in Moscow in a meeting between a delegation from the Trade Promotion Organization of Iran and a high-ranking economic delegation from EEU in May.

The meeting came after the Board of Directors of the Eurasian Economic Commission agreed on May 16 to begin consultations on a temporary agreement on a free trade area with Iran.

Tehran recently reached an agreement to export pistachio, vegetables, date and different kinds of raisin at zero tariff to EEU member states, namely Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Russia.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has called for Iran’s closer interaction with the EEU to benefit the entire region.

“Russia wants Iran to have vast trade-economic partnership in the Eurasia region in the near future,” Putin said in a meeting late June with Russian ambassadors and heads of diplomatic missions abroad, as reported by Fars News Agency.

Broad Eurasian participation is forthcoming, he said, adding that in addition to the present Eurasia member states, China, India, Pakistan and Iran as well as the former Soviet Union republics will join in the near future.

The Russian leader said consultations for creating a Eurasia free trade zone with over 40 member states and international organizations are underway.

“The union is interested in cooperation with countries and regional organizations on the basis of principles of freedom and transparency as well as abiding by international trade rules and regulations,” Putin told his diplomatic corps.

The EEU is an economic union of states located primarily in northern Eurasia.

A treaty for the establishment of the EEU was signed in May 2014 by the leaders of Belarus, Kazakhstan and Russia, and came into force on January 1, 2015.

The union has an integrated single market of 183 million people and a gross domestic product of over $4 trillion.

EEU calls for the free movement of goods, capital, services and people and provides for common transport, agriculture and energy policies, with provisions for a single currency and greater integration in the future.