Transit-related problems affecting Iran- Turkmenistan trade ties – official

Tehran, Iran, July 15

By Kamyar Eghbalnejad, A. Shirazi - Trend

The head of the Export and Import Commission of Golestan Province said the transit-related problems are affecting business transactions between Iran and Turkmenistan.

“Thanks to its location and nearness to Golestan province and its transportation system and infrastructures, Turkmenistan is like a domestic market for us,” Ali Safar-Nejad told Trend on July 15.

We can export citrus fruits and horticultural products to the Central Asian country without the need for special equipment and fridges, he added.

Safar-Nejad noted, “However, Turkmenistan is not offering the necessary cooperation in this regard and, despite its need for Iranian products, it is creating problems”.

Noting that the two governments should further work to remove obstacles to closer transit collaboration, he said Ashgabat has increased road tolls and is overcharging Iranian truck drivers.

“This is while truck drivers from other countries are not overcharged with Ashgabat”.

He said banking transactions and visa issuance are two others problems affecting the ties between the two nations.

Safar-Nejad further said, “Today, Golestan province is exporting 60 percent of its products to Turkmenistan”.

The volume of the export has seen a 30 percent decline in the past three years, he added, noting, however, that the trade turnover between the two in the first three months of the current Iranian fiscal year has increased by 21 percent.

Iran is mainly exporting citrus fruits, potatoes and cement to Turkmenistan, he concluded.

Iran and Turkmenistan are members of Ashgabat Agreement—a multimodal transport agreement signed in 2011, which envisages the facilitation of transit and transportation of goods between Central Asia and Persian Gulf.

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