Iran seeks to boost trade ties with Russia, Central Asia
Baku, Azerbaijan, Nov. 13
By Khalid Kazimov, Temkin Jafarov - Trend:
Iran is interested in boosting trade ties with Russia and the Central Asian countries, an Iranian MP has told Trend.
"Central Asian, Russian and neighboring countries' markets under any title would be fruitful for us," Iraj Naidmi, deputy head of the Iranian Parliament's Economic Commission, told Trend on Nov 13.
He said Iran values its trade ties with the Eurasian countries, particularly central Asian countries, and is consequently making efforts to finalize the North-South transport corridor by constructing a railway.
Iran is determined to finalize the North-South corridor as it will create new opportunities for the country in terms of ensuring inexpensive transport, boosting exports and imports as well as catalyzing the industrial sector.
During the meeting of Russian-Iranian intergovernmental commission in Moscow, both sides agreed on the general aspects of issuing a loan worth $7-8 billion for projects being implemented by the Russian companies in Iran, RIA Novosti reported on Nov 12.
The talks on Iran's accession to the Eurasian Economic Union can take 2-3 years, Iran's Minister of Communications and Information Technologies, Mahmoud Vaezi, has said.
The Eurasian Economic Union is an international integration union created on the basis of the Customs Union and the Common Economic Space. Currently, its members are Russia, Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan.
A railway linking Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan and Iran began operating last December.
In 2007, an agreement to construct the Kazakhstan-Turkmenistan-Iran railway was signed, while construction work began in 2009.
The Kazakhstan-Turkmenistan-Iran railway is part of the North-South international transport corridor, which joins the Indian Ocean and the Persian Gulf to the Caspian Sea through Iran and then continues onwards to St. Petersburg and northern Europe via Russia.
Towards the west of Caspian Sea, the North South corridor starts from Russia, passing through Azerbaijan to Astara checkpoint, from where it is expected to connect to Gazvin-Rasht-Astara railway project in future.