ArmInfo. Iran's Ambassador to Armenia Seyed Kazem Sadjadi considers that Armenia as Iran's nearest neighbor should assist Iran in entering the market of Eurasian Economic Union (EEU), he told this journalists on the sidelines of the Economic Forum "Armenia as a Bridge to Large Markets" on September 20.
According to him the Iranian side expects that its nearest neighbor Armenia, which is a part of the Union, will assist in raising the role of Iran in EEU and overcoming obstacles for its entry into the market. At the same time the Ambassador recalled about Iran's attractiveness for economic cooperation with its 80 mln population and developed economy. "Political relations between Armenia and Iran are on quite a high level", the Iran's Ambassador to Armenia noted adding that in case difficulties in the field of taxation, particularly customs duties are overcome, deepening of cooperation in construction field and agriculture will become possible. In this context Seyed Kazem Sadjadi especially emphasized the importance of cooperation in the North-South corridor construction project.
"Representatives of the Eurasian Economic Commission (EEU's executive body) are already holding preliminary negotiations with Iranian partners to reach temporary agreement on free trade", Minister of EEC in charge of Trade Veronika Nikishina told journalists. The Minister explained that till the end of the year all the possible benefits of establishing such a regime, all the possible obligations and terms will be studied and the results will be presented to the 5 presidents of EEU for making final decision. "We will either receive mandate on launching negotiations and signing agreement next year, or we will be advised to study further. But we hope that the mandate will be given due to active work with our Iranian partners", Nikishina stated. She noted that the most important condition for getting mandate is mutually beneficial agreements. "We are ready for free trade of Iranian goods but the EEU countries have stipulated a condition to provide similar terms for the Union's products on the Iranian market. I am sure we will get the mandate if we manage to agree on mutually beneficial terms of opening the markets", the Minister stated informing that the next round of negotiations is scheduled for early October.
According to the data of National Statistical Service of Armenia in the first half of 2016 foreign trade turnover between Armenia and Iran declined by 16.4% to $113.5 mln, which was determined by drop of import by 19.2% to $75.7 mln and decline of export by 10.3% to $37.8 mln. According to official data, foreign trade turnover of EEU in the first half of 2016 totaled $228.6 bln (export-$140.5 bln and import- $88.1 bln). Foreign trade turnover declined by 23% compared to the same period of last year. Export dropped by 29.3% and import by 10.3%. Domestic turnover within EEU dropped by 17% in the first half of 2016 compared to the same period of last year and totaled $19 bln.