Iran ready to establish $1B credit line with Syria
Tehran, Iran, Sept.21
Iran's Export Development Bank may launch a $1-billion credit line between Iran and Syria, the secretary of Iran-Syria joint Chamber of Commerce Keyvan Kashefi told Trend.
"Expanding trade ties of the two countries has major problems. The first problem is transit route for exports goods from Iran to Syria. Our transit to Syria should be launched via Iraq," he said.
"The other issue is banking relations and foreign exchange offices. Transferring money in the current situation is very difficult. The agreement between the two countries' central banks would hopefully resolve the issue soon," he said.
"The Chamber of Commerce has suggested the Iran government launches a credit line valued at $1 billion via one of private banks that has economic activities in Syria, so the fee of Iranian businessmen can be paid in right on the spot, in Syria," he said.
"The credit line would also function as barter for payments between Iranian and Syrian governments, so the businessmen would not face problem from the local authorities," he added.
"The Export Development Bank of Iran has been suggested for this plan," Kashefi said.
"The Chamber of Commerce has purchased a 6,000 square meters building with 12 floors in Syria for the first time. The building is expected to be a trade center for Iranians in Damascus," he said.
"The center would provide legal and consultant services and all Iranian companies are gathered in this center while the two first floors will be used for exhibitions to expand ties," he said.
He then went on to talk about the transit issues.
"Currently the issue is the transit road, since the rail road to Iraq is not complete and we have problem connecting to the Iraq railway network. So, we are focused on this right now," he indicated.
"At the moment our goods are transferred from the Bandar Abbas port to Syria or from Port of Mersin in Turkey to Syria. That means each container costs $4,500 but if the transit road route is established, the distance from Damascus to Tehran on land is 1,700 kilometers, and it would be $1,500 per container," he said.
"Therefore we intensively seek to launch transit line to Syria since it would be more profitable for Iranian exports, and help save costs as well," he added.