Baku, Azerbaijan, Nov.29
By Dalga Khatinoglu - Trend:
Iran and Azerbaijan are preparing to sign a memorandum of understanding in the sphere of agriculture, including in the livestock sector, Iranian Minister of Industry, Mines and Trade Mohammad Reza Nematzadeh told Trend on Nov.28.
Nematzadeh was on a visit to Azerbaijan on Nov.26-27.
He met with Azerbaijani Minister of Agriculture Heydar Asadov on Nov.27 and discussed the opportunities for cooperation and the prospects in the food and agriculture sphere, Azerbaijani Ministry of Agriculture told Trend.
Iranian minister told Trend that the sides have agreed to sign a memorandum in this sphere, adding that the document is ready and will be signed by the agriculture ministers of the two countries soon.
Nematzadeh said that the export of fruits, vegetables and food products to Russia and cooperation between Azerbaijani and Iranian companies in this sphere were among the issues discussed during his visit to Azerbaijan.
Earlier, Russian and Iranian representatives discussed the possibility of exporting fruits and vegetables from Iran to this country.
Russia presented to Iran a list of 60 types of fruits, vegetables and food products needed for Russia, according to Iran's ISNA news agency.
Agricultural products account for 41 of 100 most profitable products exported to Russia, (March 20-Oct.20) according to the official statistics of Iranian Chamber of Commerce.
Iran exported $151 million worth of products to Russia from March 21 to Oct.23 and $80 million of this amount fell to the share of agricultural products. In other words, agricultural products account for more than half the value of exports from Iran to Russia.
Russia banned the import of agricultural products from Europe in August in response to the sanctions imposed on it over the Ukrainian crisis. Russia imported 11.8 billion Euro worth of agricultural and food products from Europe in 2013, according to the official data of the European Union.
Iranian minister also said that the expansion of bilateral trade and economic relations were discussed during his visit.
An Iranian delegation led by Nematzadeh also met with Azerbaijan's Emergency Situations Minister Kamaladdin Heydarov on Nov.27.
A delegation of Azerbaijani Ministry of Emergency Situations led by Heydarov visited Iran in March 2014 and discussed the expansion of cooperation in the sphere of industrial security and industrial work.
Nematzadeh added that the expansion of economic relations between the two countries, joint investments and growth of bilateral trade turnover were among the issues discussed during the meeting with Azerbaijani representatives.
The trade turnover between Azerbaijan and Iran stood at $220 million in 2013. Negotiations on increasing the volume of bilateral trade turnover were also held during the visit of Iranian President Hassan Rouhani to Azerbaijan on Nov.12.
The minister added that during the visit it was agreed to create a joint pharmaceutical company by Azerbaijani and Iranian companies.
Visiting the Sumgait Chemical Industrial Park, Nematzadeh said that Iran is interested in cooperating with Azerbaijan in the petrochemical sphere, including engineering work, repair of equipment and joint investments.