EghtesadOnline: Turkey is working to keep a third border gate with Iran open for 24 hours a day to ease border crossing and boost trade, Turkish Customs and Trade Minister Bulent Tufenkci announced.
“We work 24 hours a day at the Esendere and Gurbulak gates. We will operate for 24 hours at the Kapikoy gate also,” the minister added, as he visited the gate in the eastern province of Van on Feb. 18, Turkish newspaper The Hurriyet Daily News reported on Monday.
Many people wait at the gate when it is closed in the afternoon, he said, adding that the Iranian side also wants its 24-hour operation.
This will allow the ease of crossing during Iran’s official holiday, Norouz, the Iranian New Year, Financial Tribune quoted Tufenkci as saying.
The renewal work at Kapikoy gate continues.
“We will open this gate to transit crossing. It will support developing trade in Van,” the minister said.
Tufenkci said the Iranian side is also building new roads to the gate.
Iran’s trade with Turkey stood at $10.75 billion in 2017, registering an increase of 11.24% compared to 2016, latest figures from Turkish Statistical Institute show.
During the year, Iran exported $3.25 billion worth of commodities to the neighboring country, down by 34.36% year-on-year.
A total of $7.49 billion worth of Turkish goods were imported into Iran during the same period to register a 59.42% rise YOY.
According to Tasnim News Agency, Iran was Turkey’s eighth biggest export destination in 2017, accounting for 2.1% of Turkey’s total exports during the year.
Iran and Turkey are signatories to a preferential trade agreement since 2014.
In October 2017, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan led a high-ranking delegation comprised of ministers of economy, energy, customs and culture, as well as Turkish investors and business leaders to Tehran.
A few days later, the governors of the two countries’ central banks signed an agreement on Oct. 19 last year to use their national currencies to do business with each other.
As per the agreement, the banks have allocated 5 billion lira ($1.4 billion) and its equivalent in rial to their respective agent banks to be used as letters of credit with a repayment period of one year for both countries’ traders.
The agreement has considerably reduced the costs for both countries’ traders, as they no longer need to use intermediate currencies since the specified agent banks are allowed to finance bilateral trade using international payment tools such as letters of credit and remittances in their local currency.
Bank Melli Iran and Turkey’s Ziraat Bank have been determined as agent banks to manage the allocated funds and issue letters of credit.