Bank Mellat initiates Iran-Turkey trade in national currency

Iran Materials 16 June 2009 11:23 (UTC +04:00)

TEHRAN (MEHR - Trend )

The state-run Iranian Bank Mellat has opened a Turkish lira special account in its Istanbul branch to streamline two-way trade based on national currencies.

Trade Promotion Organization of Iran Vice President Mohammad-Ali Zeyghami stated all branches of Bank Mellat should perform banking affairs and transactions with Turkey using rial and lira, the Mehr News Agency reported on Sunday.

Turkey is currently in negotiations with Russia and Iran over the use of the local currency in mutual trade, according to Turkish Today's Zaman website.

Turkish Foreign Trade Minister Kürsad Tüzmen said on January 11 that they were working to enable Turkish exporters to use the local currencies of neighboring countries instead of the U.S. dollar when engaging in foreign trade, adding that the government had studied the implementation of similar applications in other countries.

The two sides formerly held talks over the use of national currencies in bilateral trade to double the annual trade volume between the two countries.

Iran and Turkey have set the target of $20 billion in annual trade by 2011, while the annual value of trade between the two countries hit $10 billion in 2008.

Iran exports some $8 billion of goods, including oil and gas products, to Turkey and imports nearly $2 billion worth of products per annum.