Baku, Azerbaijan, May 14
By Fatih Karimov - Trend:
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi is scheduled to visit Tehran the next week, Saurabh Kumar, India's ambassador to Iran, said May 14, Fars news agency reported.
The visit will pave the path for boosting mutual trade between the two countries, the Indian diplomat forecasted.
Trade turnover between Tehran and New Delhi currently stands at $15 billion, Kumar said, adding that crude oil and oil products hold the lion's share of the figure.
Expressing New Delhi's willingness to invest in the Iranian gas sector, Kumar said India will soon resume its activities at the Farzad-B gas field.
Iran's Farzad-B field, estimated to have 21.68 trillion cubic feet of gas reserves, was discovered by Indian explorers in 2012, but no formal contract has been signed so far to use its resources.
The international sanctions on Iran, which were removed last January following the historic nuclear deal, prevented both sides from making any headway in the commercial exploitation of the reserves.
Reportedly, during Modi's upcoming trip, Tehran and New Delhi will finalize a memorandum of understanding (MOU) on developing the gas field.
Elsewhere in his remarks, Kumar said the framework of a preferential tariff agreement between the two countries is ready.
Once the deal is signed the trade between Iran and India will witness an increase, he added.
The diplomat further expressed India's readiness to invest in the urea and ammonium projects in the Chabahar Special Economic Zone, in southeastern Iran.
Thanks to the proximity of the Chabahar port to India, investing in the Chabahar Special Economic Zone will be affordable for the Indian side, he added.
New Delhi has recently proposed investing $20 billion in petrochemical projects, including LNG plants, in that area.
The port has also caught India's eye as a transport joint in that it could be used to beat China's Gwadar port project in the neighboring Pakistan.