Tariff barriers still in place in trade with Eurasia – Iran official (Exclusive)

Business Materials 10 July 2018 09:34 (UTC +04:00)

Tehran, Iran, July 10

By Kamyar Eghbalnejad, A. Shirazi - Trend:

Mehdi Karimi Tafreshi, the head of the board of directors at Iran’s Food Producers Cooperatives, said tariff barriers in trade with Eurasia have not yet been removed despite a preferential trade agreement Tehran recently signed with members of the Eurasian Economic Union.

“We are facing tariff barriers while doing trade with Eurasian nations and exporting goods (to these countries), and this issue has not yet been resolved,” Karimi Tafreshi told Trend.

On May 18, the five-nation Eurasian Economic Union signed a three-year provisional agreement with Iran to welcome the Islamic Republic into the bloc’s free-trade zone.

The free trade zone agreement between EEU and Iran was supposed to lower or abolish customs duties, but no changes yet.

Tafreshi said that the agreement needs to be reviewed at the Iranian parliament in order to become effective and we are waiting for it.

Elsewhere in the interview, he pointed to Iran-Russia trade ties in the field of food products and said, “We are losing opportunities in trade with Russia and we should seize this opportunity”.

He further said the Iranian food industry has great potential but is missing many opportunities due to mismanagement.

“In the first three months of the current Iranian fiscal year, some our factories faced with a number of problems including lack of raw materials and steep prices,” Tafreshi concluded.

EEU was established in 2015 based on the Customs Union of Russia, Kazakhstan and Belarus, and was later joined by Armenia and Kyrgyzstan.

In 2016, Vietnam officially became the first non-regional country to join the bloc’s free trade zone, which is designed to ensure the free movement of goods, services, capital and workers.

Since then, more than 40 countries and international organizations, including China, Indonesia, South Korea, Egypt and India, as well as some South American countries, have expressed interest in a free trade deal with EEU.