EghtesadOnline: Iran traded 446,305 tons of non-oil commodities worth $146.99 million with Armenia during the first nine months of the current fiscal year (March 21-Dec. 21), registering a 92.91% and 36.69% growth in tonnage and value respectively compared with last year's corresponding period, latest data released by the Islamic Republic of Iran Customs Administration show.
Armenia was Iran’s 41st trading partner in the world.
Iran’s exports to Armenia stood at 441,704 tons worth $126.22 million, up 100% and 44.83% in tonnage and value respectively year-on-year. Armenia was Iran’s 26th export destination during the period.
Iran mainly exported bitumen, liquefied natural gas, pistachios, brass and non-alloy iron/steel products to Armenia during the nine-month period, Financial Tribune reported.
Armenia exported 4,601 tons of goods worth $20.76 million to Iran, down 56.23% in tonnage and up 1.9% in value YOY. Armenia was the 53rd exporter of goods to Iran over the nine months.
The imports mainly included sheep carcasses, pharmaceutical supplements, motor vehicles, sensors and Pinto beans.
Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan is scheduled to visit Iran on Feb. 27, the premier himself said at a meeting with the Armenian community of Cologne, Germany.
This will be Pashinyan’s first visit to the Islamic Republic in the capacity of prime minister, Armenian online news agency PanARMENIAN.Net reported.
Following the visit of a US mission to Armenia in November to brief the southwest Asian country on reimposed sanctions against Iran, Yereven said there is no need to make any changes to economic ties with Iran.
“We don’t see the need to make any change in them. We need not only maintain the good level of these relations, but also to raise them to a new level,” Pashinyan was quoted as saying in a press conference by Armenpress.
“We need to intensively develop those relations [with Iran], and those relations should be mutually beneficial,” he added.
"The Central Bank of Armenia does not prohibit banks from serving citizens of the Islamic Republic of Iran with any directive or normative act,” the CBA said in written comments to Public Radio of Armenia.
According to the law, the Armenian banks have to carry out customer risk assessment, classify those who are in contact with non-complying countries as high-risk customers and take steps to conduct a deeper analysis.
The central bank said banks might refrain from serving a group of customers, taking onto consideration restrictions enforced by partner and correspondent banks and does not rule out citizens of Iran could be among such clients.
With Armenia’s borders with Azerbaijan and Turkey closed due to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, Iran and Georgia serve as the sole conduits for the landlocked country’s trade with the outside world.
Armenia also imports Iranian natural gas and other fuel. The volume of gas supplies should rise sharply after the ongoing construction of a third power transmission line connecting the two countries is completed next year.
Accordingly, both the current and former Armenian governments have supported a 2015 multilateral accord on Iran’s nuclear program, which led to the lifting of international sanctions against Tehran. Trump unilaterally pulled out of that deal earlier this year.
Earlier, Pashinyan expressed Armenia's readiness to help strengthen commercial ties between Iran and Eurasian Economic Union.
“EEU member states and Iran have signed an interim agreement as a first step for the formation of an Iran-EEU free trade zone. Armenia is the only EEU member state that has a land border with Iran," he said.
Iran and EEU are looking to substantially increase trade, as the two sides signed a three-year provisional agreement on May 17 last year for the bloc to welcome Iran into EEU.
"The presence of common border and the formation of free trade zone with Iran are an additional impetus for the development of commercial and economic ties," Pashinyan concluded.