Azerbaijan, Baku, Jan. 19 / Trend, A.Yusifzade /
Iran enjoys the highest volume of trade exchanges with Turkmenistan due to the two countries' good relations and commonalities in different fields, Turkmen Ambassador to Tehran Ahmad Qorbanov said on Tuesday.
"Iran and Turkmenistan have highly important economic and trade relations and Iran ranks first in trade ties with Turkmenistan," Qorbanov told FNA on the sidelines of an exhibition displaying Turkmen products in Iran's Northeastern city of Mashhad.
Given the fact that Iran and Turkmenistan have long enjoyed good relations and abundant commonalities in different fields, they have abundant potentials for mutual cooperation.
Noting that both countries have planned to implement important economic projects and ventures, Qorbanov said the recent increase in trade cooperation between Tehran and Ashgabat has boosted economic exchanges between the two neighbors to more than $4bln.
Iranian and Turkmen officials have in their recent meetings agreed to boost gas cooperation between the two countries after launching a new joint gas pipeline project which is due to increase Iran's gas imports from the Central Asian state.
Late in November, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and his Turkmen counterpart inaugurated the last section of the $1.2 billion pipeline.
The 1024-km-pipeline has a daily capacity of 50 mcm. The 48-inch diameter pipeline allows Iran to swap Turkmen gas to other countries.
The first phase of the pipeline came on stream in January 2010 to deliver gas from Turkmenistan's Dauletabad field to Iran's Khangiran refinery.
The second pipeline which passes through Dauletabad, Sarakhs and Khangiran regions was constructed after Iran felt extensive problems in supplying gas to its Northern parts.
Iran, which owns the world's second largest gas reserves after Russia and is itself a major gas exporter, has recently faced numerous problems in supplying gas to its Northern regions which are far from the national grid.
The two countries continue discussions to still boost their mutual energy cooperation. A delegation of senior Iranian oil and gas officials met with their Turkmen counterparts in Ashgabat earlier this month and discussed possible ways to further bolster energy ties and cooperation between the two countries.
Turkmenistan's main exports to Iran are natural gas, oil and petrochemical products, as well as textiles. Turkmenistan sold 8 billion cubic meters of gas to Iran in 2010 from 5.8 bcm in 2005. Turkmenistan normally supplies 5 percent of Iran's gas demand. Both countries inaugurated Dauletabad-Sarakhs-Khangiran pipeline in 2010 to raise natural gas supplies to Iran to 20 billion cubic meters a year.