Joint Iran-Turkey airline proposed
Iranian First Vice President Mohammadreza Rahimi proposed the establishment of a joint airlines by Iran and Turkey in a bid to streamline the bilateral trade.
According to IRNA news agency, he made the proposal in a meeting of Iranian and Turkish businessmen in Tehran on Tuesday, predicting the annual trade between the two states would rise to $30 billion within the next four or five years.
Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan welcomed the suggestion, saying the two countries should double efforts to remove obstacles on the way of border trade, specifically reduce customs charges, the Islamic Republic of Iran News Network reported.
The two-way trade stands at around $11 billion annually, Rahimi said, suggesting that the creation of a joint industrial border area, the establishment of a joint bank, and adopting practical mechanisms can boost the economic cooperation between the two sides.
Turkish Premier Recep Tayyip Erdogan, heading a high-ranking delegation arrived in Tehran on Monday night.
Erdogan's delegation is comprised of 200 political and economic officials including 20 MPs, ministers of foreign affairs, energy, foreign trade, culture, environment and industry, and eighty representatives of private sector companies, as well as 30 media representatives.
Over the past few years, Turkey and Iran have increased their financial cooperation gradually, largely through oil, deepening their relationship through growing trade and bilateral investment.
As Turkey's energy needs have increased, Iran has actively sought new markets for its most important export, providing an excellent base with which to develop greater avenues of cooperation.
Despite repeated economic sanctions by the United States and the UN to halt international investment in Iran, Turkey has stated that such sanctions will not prevent its cooperation with Iran in supplying its own and Europe's growing energy needs.
In March 2009, Iran and Turkey signed a memorandum of understanding agreeing to cooperate in air, land, and sea transportation as part of an effort to raise the two countries' bilateral trade to $20 billion.
Iran has taken steps to make itself more attractive to foreign investment, especially from Turkey, including easing customs regulations in border provinces.