Iran, India envisage $25 billion annual trade by 2015
Azerbaijan, Baku, Mar. 10/ Trend F.Milad/
Tehran and New Delhi have set the target of $25 billion for their annual bilateral trade by the next four years, Arvind Mehta, joint secretary in the Indian commerce ministry stated, while heading a 80-member trade delegation to Iran to explore commercial opportunities created by the EU and U.S. sanctions against Tehran over its nuclear program.
He put the current annual trade between the two countries at around $15 billion, IRNA news agency reported.
The five-day visit of the delegation consists of members from various sectors, businessmen and exporters. It is accompanied by Rafeeque Ahmed, president of the Federation of Indian Export Organizations (FIEO).
Iran is India's second-largest oil supplier after Saudi Arabia, ensuring around 12 percent of the fast-growing country's crude oil needs, the Economic Times reported.
India has been examining the ways to step up trade with Iran amid problems in settling its oil bills from Iran as a result of intensifying the sanction campaign aimed at forcing Tehran to abandon its nuclear program.
Indian Commerce Secretary Rahul Khullar last month said that New Delhi will send a delegation to Iran to "promote our own exports" and investigate business opportunities spawned by the sanctions.
He said there were "huge opportunities" to be reaped by India.
The two countries, which have long historic ties, hope to settle around 45 percent of their oil trade in rupees by increasing exports, Indian media reports said.
The Indian Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry says that Iran offers wide potential for export of Indian products and commodities.