EghtesadOnline: Based on an agreement between Iran and the Eurasian Economic Union, exports of Iranian biscuit and chocolate to the EEU member states will be exempt from customs duties, a deputy minister of industries, mining and trade said on Wednesday.
A draft agreement between Iran and EEU was signed in Yerevan, Armenia, on July 5 after more than a year of negotiations for levying preferential export tariffs on 350 Iranian industrial products in return for 180 commodities from EEU.
The agreement was signed by Mojtaba Khosrotaj, who is also chairman of Iran’s Trade Promotion Organization, and EEU Trade Minister Veronica Nikishina, Mehr News Agency reported.
Iran exports $500-600 million worth of chocolates, biscuits and pastries every year. Experts believe that if the import of the required raw materials is facilitated, the figure can reach $1 billion, as production units are running below capacity, according to Financial Tribune.
With around $118 million worth of exports, chocolate products were the main foodstuff shipped from Iran to overseas destinations during the six months to Sept. 22. Sweets and chocolates account for 30-40% of Iran’s total food exports.
Khosrotaj announced that exports to the member states of Eurasian Economic Union will either be fully exempt from customs duty or enjoy a duty cut of up to 80%.
Per capita biscuit, chocolate and sweets consumption in Iran amounts to 2 kg per year while the average figure for European countries stands at around 10 kg.
Close to 50% of Iran’s biscuits and chocolates are produced in the city of Tabriz in East Azarbaijan Province. Over 850 production units in Tabriz are also exporting their products.
The Eurasian Economic Union is an international integration economic association of Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Armenia and Kyrgyzstan.
The union has an integrated single market of 183 million people and a gross domestic product of over $4 trillion.
EEU calls for the free movement of goods, capital, services and people and provides for common transport, agriculture and energy policies, with provisions for a single currency and greater integration in the future.