Alexander Maksimov, the representative of the Russian Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Iran, said the volume of trade between Tehran and Moscow is expected to reach $10 billion in the near future.
“We think the increase in trade is connected with the improvement in bilateral relations between our countries and the growing interest from Russian and Iranian businesspeople in joint commercial activities,” Maksimov told Sputnik on Monday.
He added, “In addition, the two governments are creating the necessary trade conditions with the opening of specialized banks, joint ventures, free trade zones, free economic zones, the restoration of transport links and the introduction of new measures including the creation of ‘green corridors’ and the easing of the visa regime”.
In 2016, the volume of trade between Russia and Iran increased by 70 percent in comparison with the previous year, thanks to the removal of barriers to trade, the Russian official further said.
Last year’s bilateral trade was worth $2.2 billion, most of which was comprised of Russian exports of machinery, equipment, transport, food and metals. Iranian food exports to Russia made up just $0.3 billion of the trade balance.
“In 2017, there has been a sharp increase in the above sectors primarily due to recently signed contracts in the transport sector (for the construction of roads and bridges), for high-technology equipment including oil production and refining, as well as new contracts for the repair of aviation and rail equipment and energy systems, for example, in the nuclear sphere,” Maksimov added.
He added that the implementation of joint industry projects in the coming years, particularly the participation of Russian oil and gas companies in the development of 11 deposits in Iran, will increase the amount of bilateral trade between our countries up to $10 billion.
Since coming into force in January 2016 of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), a nuclear deal between Iran and the Group 5+1 (Russia, China, the US, Britain, France and Germany), Tehran and Moscow have ramped up efforts to boost bilateral trade.
Iran and Russia have also formed a strong alliance in recent years, with both supporting the Syrian government against foreign-backed militancy.
(Source: Tasnim, under Creative Commons licence)