EghtesadOnline: Iran’s exports to Syria have been on the rise since the 2014-15 fiscal year–the lowest ebb of $103.013 million over the last 10 years.
The highest level of exports during the period under review was registered in March 2010-11 when Iran exported $524.48 million worth of goods to Syria.
Latest statistics released by the Islamic Republic of Iran Customs Administration confirm that the rising trend in Iran’s exports to Syria is continuing, as 15,214 tons of commodities worth $156.75 million were exported during the seven months to Oct. 22, registering an increase of 11.82% and 16.31% in volume and value compared with last year’s corresponding period.
Iran mainly exports chemicals, pipes and profiles, electronic parts, pharmaceuticals, auto parts, baby formula, faucets and organic compounds to Syria, according to Financial Tribune.
Iran’s imports from Syria, on the other hand, are meager, standing at an average of $23 million per annum over the 10-year period under review.
Syria mainly exports olive, olive oil, herbs, apparel, yarn and fabrics and steam turbine parts to Iran.
In a telephone conversation with Syrian President Bashar Assad on Saturday, Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani said the Islamic Republic will continue to stand by the Syrian nation and government, and is ready to participle in the reconstruction projects of the war-torn country.
His comments came after armed forces in Syria and Iraq recently managed to flush IS militants out of their last strongholds in both countries. Backed by popular groups and Iranian military advisors, the two countries declared their full victory over the notorious and brutal terrorist group.
The recent recapture of the two cities of Abu Kamal in Syria and Rawa in Iraq marked the end of the IS reign of terror, which started in 2014 with the group making vast territorial gains in a lightning offensive and establishing its self-proclaimed “caliphate” in the Iraqi city of Mosul and the Syrian city of Raqqah.
The presidents of the three guarantors of Syria peace process, namely Iran, Russia and Turkey, met in the Russian city of Sochi last week, calling for a national dialogue in Syria for creating stability and security in the country.
Rouhani’s expression of readiness to help the reconstruction of Syria has been repeatedly echoed by other Iranian officials.
“Iranian organizations, firms and provincial commerce chambers are able to meet Syria’s business needs and help the country implement its reconstruction projects,” the deputy head of Iran’s Chamber of Commerce, Industries, Mines and Agriculture, Hossein Selahvarzi, said in a meeting with Syrian Minister of Economy and Foreign Trade Mohammad Samer al-Khalil in the Syrian capital Damascus back in August.
The Iranian trade official urged the Syrian minister to facilitate free trade between Iran and Syria, and appoint a representative to follow related affairs.
Iran and Syria signed an agreement in Damascus in May to enhance economic cooperation.
Earlier in January, Iran signed major economic contracts with Syria in what Tehran and Damascus hailed as “a new page” in economic ties.
Five memorandums of understanding were signed during a visit by Syrian Prime Minister Imad Khamis to Tehran, including for Iran to operate a mobile phone service in Syria and phosphate mining.
Tehran and Damascus also signed a memorandum of understanding to cooperate in a phosphate mine in Syria’s al-Sharqiya.
Syria is among the world’s largest exporters of rock phosphate, a raw material used in the production of phosphatic fertilizers, although the war has marred its ability to mine and market the commodity.
The country agreed to give Iran 5,000 hectares of land for farming and 1,000 hectares for setting up oil and gas terminals. A deal was also signed on providing lands for animal husbandry.
Syria is increasingly indebted to Iran financially: Tehran opened a $3.5 billion credit line in 2013 and extended it by $1 billion in 2015, which economists say has helped keep the Syrian economy remain afloat.
Tehran has already shown interest in helping Syria rebuild its roads, airports, power stations and ports.
Iranian firms are already involved in a series of electricity projects worth $660 million in Syria.
Iran aims to export electricity to Syria and create the biggest power network in the Muslim world by hooking up Iran’s national grid with those of Iraq and Lebanon.
Syria’s GDP contracted last year by just 4% year-on-year, compared with a 36.5% YOY decline in 2013.