Tehran, Iran, June 5
By Mehdi Sepahvand - Trend
Iran is making new moves to launch regular shipping lines in the Caspian Sea as a means to improve exports to Russia, Head of the Trade Promotion Organization of Iran Valiollah Afkhami Rad said.
Right now the Caspian shipping lines are not regular and in fact they do not carry much load either, he said, IRNA news agency reported June 5.
He said it is one of the most important occupations of Iranian tradesmen whether regular shipping lines exist between the two countries.
Iran launched regular shipping lines in the Caspian Sea in 2007, which made the country's export to Caspian Sea littoral countries rise from 45 thousand metric tons to 800 thousand metric tons.
But as sanctions on Iran tightened, the lines shut down by 2011, reducing the export rate drastically.
Shipping lines are vital to the Iranian trade since they are responsible for transiting 90 percent of the country's imports and exports.
The Trade Promotion Organization of Iran and the Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Lines are set to meet June 6 to sign a deal allocating 320 billion rials ($11.1 million) to re-launching the shipping lines.
Iran has been seeking more trade with Russia since the EU set economic sanctions on Moscow over developments in Ukraine.
Russia was the 18th leading importer of Iranian non-oil goods in the previous Iranian calendar year, which ended on March 20, 2015, according to the Iran Customs Administration.
Iran exported $296.5 million of non-oil goods to Russia and imported $667.18 million of non-oil goods from that country.
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