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EghtesadOnline: The Central Insurance of Iran and Central Bank of Armenia on Thursday signed an agreement to expand cooperation in insurance and reinsurance services.

The agreement was signed by Arthur Javadyan, Central Bank of Armenia’s chairman, and Abdolnasser Hemmati, CII’s president at the CBA headquarters in Yerevan in the presence of major Iranian insurance and reinsurance companies, CII’s Public Relations Office reported.

The agreement aims to create a legal basis for expanding insurance cooperation. CII and CBA have agreed to provide insurance coverage to both Armenian and Iranian citizens, according to the CBA website.

Expanding reinsurance ties, paving the way for establishing representative offices, holding mutual training programs and following up visits were among other issues enshrined in the agreement, according to Financial Tribune. 

The chief executives of Iran Insurance Company, Parsian Insurance and Iranian Re accompanied Hemmati during the visit.

Iran and Armenia had signed similar documents back in 2009.

Hemmati also held talks with Karen Karapetyan, Armenia’s premier, during a ceremony marking the anniversary of the Islamic Revolution. 

The Iranian delegation also met Suren Karayan, minister of economic development and investments, where Hemmati expressed Iran’s readiness to work closely with Armenian insurers.

Welcoming the move, Karayan called for expanding ties in travel and commercial categories.

Executive Director of Armenia’s Export Insurance Agency Vazgen Abgaryan also referred to an agreement signed by his agency and the Export Guarantee Fund of Iran, and called for boosting ties in extending reinsurance coverage.

In response, the Iranian side proposed to sign a tripartite agreement involving Armenia’s Export Insurance Agency, EGFI and CII to lay down the directions for deepening cooperation.

Mohsen Pourkiani, CEO of Iran Insurance Company, also said Iranian insurers are ready to offer Armenians insurance services in all categories.

“Visa facilitation between the two countries has created a great potential for the travel insurance coverage,” he added.

Iran is reportedly the second largest contributor to Armenia’s tourism industry. The number of Iranian tourists visiting Armenia has been growing steadily for years, such that in 2016 it registered the largest growth by any country with 30%.

Recently, an Iranian company expressed readiness to invest $1 million in infrastructure construction for a free economic zone Armenia plans to build near the town of Agarak.

According ArmInfo, Armenian insurers’ premium income amounted to $66.6 million in 2016, marking a 6.8% growth compared with 2015. Armenian insurers also recorded a 13.7% drop in paid claims, which amounted to $29.1 million in 2016.

According to CII, Iran insurance industry’s premium income stood at $6 billion in 2016.

Abdolnasser Hemmati Iran-Armenia cooperation Iran Insurance Central Insurance of Iran Iran reinsurance Armenia insurance Arthur Javadyan