EghtesadOnline: Head of the Iran-Afghanistan Joint Chamber of Commerce says central banks in the two countries are looking for ways to resolve problems hurting banking ties between the two neighbors.
Hossein Salimi pointed to a new approach adopted by the Tehran government that supports trade with neighbors in the light of US sanctions.
Afghanistan is one of the countries in which Tehran has invested hope to boost exports.
Salimi pointed to the closure of Arian Bank, the only Iranian bank in Afghanistan, saying banking officials in both counties have engaged in talks to find workable solutions to banking hurdles, Financial Tribune reported.
“Banking officials are discussing payments in rial and barter trade”, he said, reiterating that the talks have produced positive results, Fars News Agency reported.
“Transferring money is the main concern for businesses in both countries”, he said.
Officials in the Central Bank of Afghanistan annulled the operating license of Arian Bank in mid-May, claiming the bank did not respect the laws and regulations of the country.
He pointed to the balance of trade between the two countries, saying the two neighbors can expand trade via joint investment projects.
“Afghanistan buys oil, gas and fuel from Iran, while that country barely has any goods to export to Iran”, he said.
“Although Afghanistan has some agro products to export to Iran, we are not buyers of their products. This is while they expect Iran to import some of their goods.”
He referred to the idea of creating joint markets as another measure to expand bilateral trade.
Afghanistan is one of Iran’s major trading partners in the region with annual exports worth $2 billion. The two sides have projected a trade target of $10 billion.