Iran proposing 3-way trade with Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan

Tehran, Iran, June 15

By Temkin Jafarov, Mehdi Sepahvand - Trend:

Iran is willing to offer its goods and services - as engineering and technical service - to Azerbaijan, Mohammad Taghi Amanpour, Consultant & Special Representative to The Iranian Minister of Petroleum for Exporting Goods & Technical and Engineering Services, told Trend June 15.

However, there is the problem of funding which oil and gas projects in Azerbaijan may be in need of, he noted.

Here we can use the chance of having relations with Turkmenistan to turn the cooperation into a three-way business between Iran, Turkmenistan, and Azerbaijan, he added.

"During a visit by Iranian Oil Minister Bijan Zanganeh to Azrbaijan (in 2014), Zanganeh and Azerbaijani Minister of Industry and Energy Natig Aliyev talked over a plan to have Azerbaijani tradesmen export goods to Turkmenistan while Iran would fund projects in Azerbaijan, out of debts Iran owes Turkmenistan, for example," he said.

This would come with the condition that the Azerbaijani tradesmen would export Iranian goods to Azerbaijan or any other country.

"We can take on any project in Azerbaijan out of the money Turkmenistan demands from us. Then, Azerbaijan has oil and other goods which it can give to Turkmenistan. This is I think a very good opportunity which I recommend Azerbaijani tradesmen and producers use to the full," he said.

"Iran wants its bilateral trade and cooperation with Turkmenistan to turn into tri or multi-lateral relations. The reason for that is that there is a special vibe to Turkmenistan. There are trade companies with long records and familiarity doing business in Turkmenistan," Amanpour stated.

He went on to say that Iran intends to go beyond Azerbaijan and turn relations with other countries such as Kazakhstan and Belarus and Central Asia in general to multilateral trade using the situations in Turkmenistan.

Trade turnover between Iran and Turkmenistan amounted to $4 billion in 2014, but it is expected that the figure will reach $6 billion in 2015.

The level of Iran and Turkmenistan trade is planned to reach $60 billion in ten years ($6 billion annually).

Iran-Turkmenistan non-oil trade turnover stood at $1.112 billion in 2014. The Islamic Republic exported $933 million worth of non-oil goods to Turkmenistan, meanwhile imported about $179 million worth of goods from Ashgabat in the same period, according to Iran's Customs Administration.

Trade turnover between Iran and Azerbaijan reached $433.8 million during the first eleven months of the last Iranian fiscal year (March 21, 2014-Feb. 20).

The Islamic Republic exported some 1.763 million metric tons of goods to Azerbaijan during that period.

Iran also imported some $19.304 million worth of goods from Azerbaijan during the period.

Iran imported about 6.6 billion cubic meters of gas from Turkmenistan, while swapped 0.3 bcm of gas with Azerbaijan in 2014.

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