EghtesadOnline: Heads of the central banks of South Korea and Iran met in Seoul to discuss banking hurdles between the two sides and find workable solutions.
In meetings with South Korean officials, the governor of the Central Bank of Iran Abdolnasser Hemmati complained that two-way trade ties are suffering due to the “over-conservatism of Korean partners toward US sanctions.”
Hemmati blamed the new United States restrictions for the decline in bilateral trade in the last Iranian fiscal (ended in March) and urged Korean authorities to take effective measures to remove the unwanted hurdles, CBI’s official website reported.
Lee Ju-yeol, governor of the Bank of Korea, expressed regret about the performance of Korean banks, linking their aversion to Iran-related transactions to the fear of US wrath against all nations and companies that trade with Iran, according to Financial Tribune.
US President Donald Trump abandoned a landmark nuclear treaty Iran had signed with six world powers in 2015 and re-imposed economic sanctions.
In a meeting with Hong Nam-ki, the deputy premier who also is minister of economy and finance, Hemmati referred to the bulk of Iran-owned assets held up in South Korean banks, expressing disappointment with their refusal to cooperate with Iranian firms in meeting their import needs.
He said such attitude could undermine friendly relations between the two countries.
In a meeting with South Korean ambassador in Tehran, Ryu Jeong-hyun last week, Hemmati faulted banks in his country for blocking Iranian assets and creating financial difficulties for Iranian businesspeople.
Hong commended the CBI’s policies over the past 10 months to stabilize the economic conditions in Iran and labeled CBI’s efforts as “outstanding” under Hemmati’s watch.
Iran-South Korea non-oil trade reached $2.5 billion during the first eight months of previous fiscal to November 21, 2018, with Iran accounting for $853 million in exports and importing goods worth $1.7 billion from the powerful Asian nation.
Iran mainly exported gas condensates, chemicals and copper concentrate to South Korea during the period. Imports mainly included auto parts, cellphones, paper, and electronic parts.