Iran, Turkmenistan agree to expand transport co-op

Baku, Azerbaijan, Jan.25

By Fatih Karimov - Trend: Iran and Turkmenistan have agreed to expand their cooperation in the field of transportation, ISNA reported on January 25.

During their 13th joint economic committee meeting in Ashgabat, the two sides reached agreements to increase road transportation at border regions, building a new bridge over Tajan River, expand transit of goods and holding joint committee meetings on road transportation.

They also agreed to implement a four-sided agreement between Iran, Turkmenistan, Oman, and Uzbekistan, increase volume of rail transportation via Sarakhs border, and settle debts related to railway companies and airlines.

The two sides agreed to launch a Ro-Ro shipping line, finalize a previously signed MOU between their aviation organizations, and expand cooperation related to exports and imports via northern and southern ports.

On January 20, Iran and Turkmenistan held their 13th joint economic committee meeting in Turkmenistan's city of Ashgabat.

Iranian foreign minister Mohammad Javad Zarif chaired the meeting jointly with his Turkmen counterpart.

The managing director of the Trade Promotion Organization of Iran (TPOI), Valiollah Afkhami, has said necessary infrastructures for boosting trade ties with Turkmenistan should be provided, IRIB reported on Nov. 18.

There are some bottlenecks in Iran-Turkmenistan trade, Afkhami said, adding that Turkmenistan has notable potential to increase the volume of trade.

Iran mainly exports cement, potatoes, apples, types of flour, and pipe fittings to Turkmenistan.

In July 2013, the IRNA news agency reported that Iranian and Turkmen merchants plan to boost trade turnover by 100 percent reaching $10 billion.

The Iran-Turkmenistan trade turnover reached some $5billion in the last solar year (end on March 21).

According to Iran Custom Administration report, Turkmenistan exported some $244 million worth of gas during the first three month of the current solar year. The value of imports was some $15 million in the same period.

Iran imported 4.5 billion cubic meters of gas worth $3.5 billion from Turkmenistan in the last solar year.

This indicates a 50 per cent decrease compared to the previous solar year.

Iran is Turkmenistan's second largest trade partner after Russia, the report said.

Iran's highest foreign trade balance was with Iraq, Afghanistan, Turkmenistan and Egypt during the first quarter of the current solar year.

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