Tehran, Tashkent to establish joint commerce chamber
Iran and Uzbekistan agreed on Monday to open a joint chamber of commerce in a bid to increase the level of two-way trade and investments.
Iranian Commerce Minister Mehdi Ghazanfari stated at the closing ceremony of the 10th summit of Iran and Uzbekistan Joint Economic Commission that a $30 million contract had been signed between the two countries' private sectors, the Mehr News Agency reported.
In his meeting at the summit with Uzbek Deputy Prime Minister Elyor Ganiev the two sides signed an MOU in 6 chapters and 22 articles.
Iran and Uzbekistan agreed to increase preferential tariffs from 27 items to 100 and boost cooperation in trade and economy, banking and financial transactions, industry, transportation and transit, agriculture, fishery, science and technology.
Ghazanfari had previously announced that the annual trade between the two countries is currently around $600 million and he sought to raise it to $1 billion in 2010.
Ganiev said that removing transport and transit hurdles is important and if necessary measures in regard to tariffs are taken, trade between the two countries would double, Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting reported.
In June 2008, Iran's commercial attaché in Uzbekistan Seyed Mohammad Beheshtian claimed that "Iran is Uzbekistan's sixth largest trading partner. Currently some 117 Iranian investing companies are active in Uzbekistan. Uzbekistan''s exports to Iran include cotton, ferrous and non-ferrous metals, fertilizers, and chemical fibers. Iran exports construction materials, detergents, foods, tea and fruits to Uzbekistan.