EghtesadOnline: President of Iran Chamber of Commerce, Industries, Mines and Agriculture Gholamhossein Shafei signed a memorandum of understanding with his Ukrainian counterpart, Gennadiy Chyzhykov, on Monday on the sidelines of the Ukrainian-Iranian Business forum in Kiev.
The MoU stipulates increasing cooperation to boost mutual trade. Iran’s ambassador to Ukraine, Mohammad Beheshti, was also present at the forum, IRNA reported.
An Iranian delegation of 30 businessmen visited Ukraine to attend the joint business forum at the invitation of the Ukrainian Chamber of Commerce and Industry. The delegation includes representatives from 80 Iranian companies active in the fields of transportation, pharmaceuticals and tourism.
“We’re not just looking to expand ties with Ukraine only; our ties with Ukraine will also connect us to its surrounding markets,” Mohammad Reza Karbasi, ICCIMA’s deputy for international affairs was also quoted as saying by the chamber’s news portal, Financial Tribune reported.
Karbasi noted that energy, agriculture, SMEs, transportation and transit are potential areas where the two countries can enhance their ties.
The Iranian delegation was also due to discuss trade of chicken and eggs as well as collaboration in tourism industry, ICT, veterinary, animal husbandry, joint investment and transportation with their Ukrainian counterparts.
The last time an Iranian business delegation traveled to Ukraine dates back to the fiscal 2011-12 when Mohammad Nahavandian (now President Hassan Rouhani’s deputy for economic affairs) was the head of ICCIMA.
Ukraine, located in East Europe, borders Russia, Belarus, Poland, Slovakia, Hungary, Romania and Moldavia. The country has a strategic position since it is located near the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov.
Considering its geopolitical position, Ukraine can be an ideal trade partner for Iran since it can transport goods via air, land or sea. On the other hand, the presence of Iranian businessmen in Ukraine can lead to trade with other European countries as well.
Bilateral trade between Ukraine and Iran in 2016 stood at over $745 million.
“Ukrainian exports to Iran increased by 78% during January-May 2017, compared with the same period of last year,” Chyzhykov said during the Monday forum.
In 2016, compared with 2015, exports from Ukraine to Iran increased by 32%, while imports from Iran also increased by 30%,” he was quoted as saying by UkrAgroConsult—a Ukraine-based group consulting/information services in the agricultural and food industries of the Black Sea region.
Chyzhykov stressed that to increase trade between Ukraine and Iran, the two countries should avoid the involvement of third countries in building a chain supply, the group’s website Blackseagrain.com reported.
According to ICCIMA’s news portal, Iran had a 1.93% share in Ukraine’s foreign trade in 2016.
Ukraine mainly exports agro products such as grains and vegetable oils to Iran, while Iran generally exports petrochemical products, drugs and food products, including processed vegetable, fruits and nuts, to Ukraine.