Iran's share out of Russian market less than 1%
Tehran, Iran, Oct. 6
By Milad Fashtami - Trend:
Abbas Khaleqitabar, and official with Iran's Industry, Mine, and Trade Ministry, said that Iran's share out of Russia's $350-billion market is less than one percent.
"Regional developments have provided Iran with a golden opportunity to boost non-oil exports," he said, Iran's Fars News Agency reported on October 6.
"Considering the provided opportunity, we need to facilitate the process to boost exports to Russia," Khaleqifar added.
He went on to note that Iran and Russia's trade relations dates back to 1940.
Head of Iran-Russia Joint Chamber of Commerce Assadollah Asgaroladi said on September 30 that the chamber is studying a plan to replace the two country's national currencies - rial and ruble - for their bilateral trades.
"A Russian bank is supposed to establish a branch in Tehran, transfering the money to businesspersons at the exhcange rate of free market," he explained, Iran's Mehr News Agency reported.
"The bank will transfer the money in 3-5 days," he said.
Asgaroladi went on to note that the Central Bank of Iran will announce its stance on the plan in two months.
"Bank Melli of Iran's branch in Moscow will also help transfer money between the two countries' businesspersons," he noted.
Tehran and Moscow plan to launch a joint bank in near future.
Head of Tehran Chamber of Commerce Yahya Al-e Es'haq said on September 22 that bank would facilitate money transfers, Iran's ISNA News Agency reported.
"The Iranian and Russian businesspersons can use domestic LCs in the short term, until the joint bank starts its work," the official noted.
"The western sanctions imposed on Russia have created a great opportunity for Iranian goods to enter Russian market," he said.
"The Russians have informed us about the items they need to import," Al-e Es'haq explained.
During the Russian delegation's visit to Tehran earlier this month, the country officially requested Tehran to increase its agricultural exports to Moscow in order to meet the country's domestic demands.
Iran and Russia signed a memorandum of understanding for cooperation on September 9.
Iranian Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh and Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak signed the document at the end of the 11th meeting of Iran-Russia Joint Cooperation Commission.
The documents include bilateral cooperation in different fields such as industrial, mineral, trade, agricultural, tourism, technology, border issues, and energy.
The two sides also agreed to do their bank transactions by national currencies.
"Iran and Russia's trade value currently stands at 1.5 billion dollars but the figure will rise by ten times in the next two year," Zanganeh said.
Novak previously said that US-generated sanctions will not affect the two countries bilateral relations.
Russian energy minister said on September 10 that Moscow is ready to carry out 70 billion euros worth of projects in Iran.
"Russia can help Iran construct new railroads," he said expressing his country's willingness to take part in electrification project of the railroads, Iran's TASNIM News Agency Reported on September 10.
"Investing in Iran's oil and gas sector is interesting for Russian companies," Novak said.
He went on to note that the two countries' presidents will hold a meeting to discuss issues of mutual interest in near future.
"We seek to open a new chapter in bilateral cooperation," he concluded.
Iranian Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh said on September 6 that Iran sees no limits to expand economic ties with Russia.
"The two sides will explore ways to expand economic ties, particularly in agriculture, transportation, mining, energy, and technology transfer," the Shana news agency quoted Zanganeh as saying.