PTA not increasing trade turnover between Iran, Turkey – official

Tehran, Iran, June 18

By A. Shirazi - Trend:

The head of Iran-Turkey Trade Council said the volume of trade between Tehran and Ankara has not witnessed a significant growth since the two nations decided to add categories of goods to their preferential trade agreement (PTA).

“Various obstacles, including financial, banking, insurance, and transit problems have all prevented the trade between two nations from growing, despite the PTA agreement,” Reza Kami said on June 18, Mehr news agency reported.

In December 2017, Iran and Turkey announced their plans to add 60 categories of goods each to their preferential trade agreement. The PTA between Iran and Turkey was first signed in January 2014 and took effect a year later.

Iranian experts argue that the country’s economic interests have not been incorporated in its preferential trade agreement with Turkey and this has had consequences for the Iranian economy.

In May 2017, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani and his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan met in Islamabad. During the meeting, the Turkish president lauded the relations between Tehran and Ankara and said his country is resolved to finalize a preferential trade agreement with Iran and to achieve the goal of $30 billion in bilateral trade.

Kami said the volume of trade exchange between Iran and Turkey has been $10 billion for many years, adding that the amount used to stand at $22 billion in the past.

He further said that 15 agreements between Iran and Turkey have not become operational yet, adding that the volume of trade between the two reached $2.5 billion in the first three months of the current year.

“More than $1.5 billion accounted for Iran’s export to Turkey, while Ankara exported goods to Tehran worth $750 million,” he said.

The official said Iran mainly exported oil, gas, copper, lead, tar, and dates to Turkey, adding that Turkey’s products exported to Iran included car parts, wood boards, medical equipment, and different types of threads.

In April 2016, Iran and Turkey signed eight memorandums of understanding (MoUs) to strengthen bilateral cooperation in various areas.

The cooperation documents were signed in a ceremony in Ankara attended by Rouhani and Erdogan.

The documents covered a range of fields, including higher education, social security, plant maintenance services and standardization.

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