Baku, Azerbaijan, Nov. 13
By Temkin Jafarov - Trend:
Iran and Azerbaijan are developing cooperation in trade, and the two countries' common land and sea borders create potential to further expand this cooperation, the Iranian presidential administration head, Mohammad Nahavandian told Trend Nov. 13 in Baku.
He said the two countries should explore and use this potential.
Nahavandian further went on to say that the participation of the two countries' presidents at the Azerbaijan-Iran business forum, held in Baku, indicates the forum's importance.
The business forum has been an opportunity to expand cooperation between entrepreneurs of Iran and Azerbaijan, he added.
Nahavandian also said the private sectors of Iran and Azerbaijan should discuss and sign agreements on cooperation both in trade and investment areas, adding that simplification of trade procedures plays an important role in the development of cooperation between the two countries.
"Iran and Azerbaijan need to provide mutual benefits in export and import operations, on customs tariffs and in cargo transportations. The banks in both countries need to establish close cooperation for trade facilitation," Nahavandian stressed.
Top Iranian official also said the political relations between the two countries have expanded this year.
"Iran intends to strengthen cooperation in these areas," Nahavandian said. "The documents, signed between Iran and Azerbaijan, as well as those currently under discussions, contribute to the development of trade relations between Iran and Azerbaijan."
He went on to add that this process can be accelerated through expansion of cooperation in the banking sector.
The head of the Presidential Administration also said Iran intends to benefit from Azerbaijan's territory as a transit route for the export and import operations with Europe.
He added that the meeting of the presidents of the two countries also discussed the issue of linking Iranian and Azerbaijani railways through the Qazvin-Rasht-Astara (Iran) - Astara (Azerbaijan) railway.
"This railway will run through Azerbaijan's territory and be extended to Europe," Nahavandian said, adding that investments are needed for the implementation of this project.
"Taking into account that the construction of the railway is important from the economic point of view, several proposals were put forward for financing this project," he added.
He said Iran regards this as one of the strategic projects and therefore, hopes that it will be implemented with the joint efforts of the two countries.
Nahavandian said once the Qazvin-Rasht-Astara (Iran) - Astara (Azerbaijan) railway is commissioned, Azerbaijan's transit opportunities within the North-South and West-East transport corridors will increase.
The top official said this project is of great importance for Iran, adding that this railway will be alternative for the development of relations between Iran and Europe.
"Currently, roads are used for this purpose. By simplifying cargo transportation by roads and increasing the road surface firmness, Iran intends to benefit from Azerbaijani roads to develop its relations with Europe, increase the volume of transit in the direction of Azerbaijan and Georgia."
Nahavandian added that these projects will be implemented with the joint financing by Iran and Azerbaijan.
"We hope that the implementation of these projects will promote the development of bilateral and regional trade relations," he said.
Edited by SI