Tehran ,Iran, May 15
In 2018, Iran's exports to Qatar were seriously affected by the US sanctions, said the Adnan Mosapour chairman of Iran-Qatar Joint Chamber of Commerce, in his interview to Trend.
Iran's trade with, and exports to, Qatar had high growth during 2017; before the Saudi Arabia and the UAE imposed a blockade against Qatar in June 2017, Iran's exports to Qatar was around $60 million, while in 2017 the figure jumped to $250 million.
Speaking about the latest trade situation between two countries, he noted, "Last Iranian year (started on March 21, 2018) was the year of political limitations for exports to world markets due to foreign exchange rate problem and drop in exports to Qatar, which caused drop in exports, although the country's general exports statistics had been cut as well."
He indicated, "Although the exports to Qatar in 2018 reached $230 million, it is less than in 2017, when Iran's exports to Qatar reached nearly $260 million."
Referring to statistics of the first two months of the current Iranian year (started on March 21, 2019) he said, "The detailed statistics are not specific yet. But we see that the Qatari market is dynamically growing. It attracts many brands and companies and has become a competitive market. Earlier, it was easy to establish a business in Qatar, but now we should compete with big companies, and banking issues is the first thing we have to deal with."
The official made a forecast for the future of trade between two sides, "Policy makers usually have two policies: it is either limits or expansion. Our government's policy in the past year was aimed at limiting, which affected the exports. If the process continues, we will witness further drop in exports. if the government applies encouraging approach and implements developing policies we would definitely see rise of exports."
He added, "Although sanctions are unpredictable, I suppose that current year will not be much different from the previous year."
Referring to the effect of the Instrument in Support of Trade Exchanges (INSTEX) on increasing foreign trade with neighbor countries, he said, "INSTEX has not been fully implemented yet. The first phase only covers European countries, but after it is implemented. a new atmosphere will be created."
Responding to the question whether bartering goods can solve the banking communication problems for exports created by sanctions, he said, "This could influence the development of trade to some extend, but it should be discussed at the governmental level between Iran and Qatar."