EghtesadOnline: Croatian Minister of Economy Martina Dalic called for closer cooperation to facilitate banking ties with Iran, describing them as critical to the expansion of bilateral trade.
"Banking and financial problems pose a major barrier to the promotion of economic relations and we should figure out a solution quickly," Dalic told the Central Bank of Iran's Governor Valiollah Seif in a meeting in Tehran on Sunday, CBI's website reported.
"As the Croatian firms are beginning to enter transactions with Iranians, the path for the two sides' banking relations needs to be smoothed … This is contingent on mutual resolve and support."
Seif welcomed the Croatian deputy premier's call for stronger banking engagement, saying this could include cultivating relations between the two central banks, setting up correspondent relations between the major banks of Iran and Croatia, as well as the opening of an office in Iran to represent Croatian banks, according to Financial Tribune.
"Improving banking relations is a prerequisite to the promotion of economic ties and we should facilitate this by removing barriers," he added.
Dalic, who is also Croatia's deputy prime minister, arrived in Tehran on Saturday for a five-day visit.
The official visit is at the invitation of her Iranian counterpart, Masoud Karbasian, Croatia's Economy Ministry announced.
A joint trade forum between economic players of Iran and Croatia was scheduled at the Iran Chamber of Commerce, Industries, Mines and Agriculture's headquarters in Tehran on Monday.
The visit comes after an ICCIMA delegation earlier traveled to Zagreb in September 2017. The mission comprised 30 members of the chamber active in the fields of construction, food, energy, banking, carpet and textile.
Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif met with Croatian Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic and a number of other senior officials in Zagreb in March. The Croatian premier said cooperation with Iran, especially in economic and trade sectors, should be continued and expanded.
Iran's banking system was subject to years of international sanctions that cut off domestic banks from the global financial system.
The removal of those sanctions under the 2015 nuclear deal with major powers initially raised the prospects of a reintegration into the global banking system.
However, major global lenders still remain wary of reengaging with their Iranian counterparts, citing residual US non-nuclear sanctions that ban dollar-denominated deals with Iranian businesses.