$30b Trade Target With Turkey “Realistic”

$30b Trade Target With Turkey “Realistic”$30b Trade Target With Turkey “Realistic”

The midterm goal of attaining an annual rate of $30 billion in trade between Iran and Turkey is realistic.

The statement was made by Iran’s Minister of Communications and Information Technology Mahmoud Vaezi, during a visit to the Turkish capital Ankara at the head of a top-ranking delegation to attend the 25th Iran-Turkey Economic Commission (April 7-8).

The previous edition of the joint economic commission was held in April 2014 in Tehran. The bilateral trade goal has been stated by officials of the two countries on many occasions.

“Traditional methods won’t work if the two sides wish to achieve important economic objectives. We need to be creative in our bilateral relations,” IRNA quoted the Iranian minister as saying.

Iran’s trade with Turkey in the first two months of 2016 reached $1.32 billion, posting a 33% decrease compared with the similar period of the previous year, IRNA cited data released by Turkish Statistical Institute, adding that close to $600 million worth of trade in January rose to around $700 million in February.

Annual trade between the two neighbors plunged 29% in 2015 to stand at $9.8 billion.

The two sides' officials discussed topics spanning the implementation of the signed agreements between the two countries, such as their preferential trade agreement and the development of ties in sectors including, but not limited to, tourism, investment, banking, transportation and customs.

According to Vaezi, Turkish banking system's role in improvement of trade ties with Iran is insignificant while Tehran sees no limits to expansion of relations with Ankara.

“Turkish companies’ presence in post-sanctions Iran is not noteworthy,” he said.

While in Ankara, the Iranian minister met with top Turkish officials, including Minister of Foreign Affairs Mevlut Cavusoglu, Minister for Development Cevdet Yilmaz, Economy Minister Mustafa Elitas and Customs and Trade Minister Bulent Tufenkci.

Emphasizing that trade between Turkey and Iran needs to increase, Tufenkci said his country places special importance on facilitating economic cooperation with Iran and the two sides should clear the hurdles in the way of bilateral trade and solve their transportation problems.

He had previously been quoted by Daily Sabah as saying, “The Turkish government is currently renovating the Kapikoy border gate in addition to other border gates between Turkey and Iran. We will hopefully lay the foundation for the Kapikoy border crossing by June.

Therefore, I think we will be constructing an alternative gate when it is completed. Also, we care about information exchange in terms of speeding up the procedures in the field of customs.”