EghtesadOnline: The new approach adopted by Iranian and Emirati authorities toward deescalating tensions and protecting regional security could help improve trade between the two neighboring countries in the current fiscal year (2019-20) compared with last year.
Masoud Taherimehr, an expert on Arab affairs at Iran Trade Promotion Organization’s Arab-African States Department, however, said, “We can’t declare a specific objective for exports to the UAE. We need to wait to see if positive signals continue.”
His remarks echoed those of the chairman of Iran-UAE Chamber of Commerce who recently said bilateral trade relations are improving, while adding that there is a long way to go to restore full ties, IRNA reported.
“In the current situation, economic and political relations are improving,” Farshid Farzanegan was quoted as saying by Mehr News Agency.
According to the official, the UAE knows that it depends on peace in the Persian Gulf and that tensions in the region will slow down its own economic progress, Financial Tribune reported.
He further said that the Iranian Foreign Ministry and Trade Promotion Organization have placed promotion of relations with neighboring countries on top of their agendas, stressing that the Iran-UAE Chamber of Commerce and the private sector need to help the two bodies expand the country’s trade ties.
Farzanegan underlined that Dubai’s economy depends on trade relations with Iran, adding that both sides are eager to continue and expand bilateral trade ties.
“Out of Dubai's 3.5 million population, 600,000 are Iranians,” he said, putting the number of Iranian companies operating in Dubai at 6,000 and the number of Iranian merchants working with the major Emirati city at 8,000.
Farzanegan described Expo 2020 Dubai as a great opportunity for Iranian companies to showcase their products.
A maritime security delegation from the UAE arrived in Tehran on July 30 to resume bilateral coast guard meetings between Iran and the Arab country after a six-year hiatus to increase joint efforts on enhancing maritime security in the Persian Gulf.
During the Tehran meeting, the two sides discussed issues of mutual interest, including shared borders, the travel of citizens and ways of facilitating maritime links between the two countries.
Iran traded 17.57 million tons of non-oil commodities worth $12.52 billion with the UAE during the last Iranian year (ended March 20, 2019), registering a 30.07% and 25.6% decline in tonnage and value respectively compared with the year before, data released by the Islamic Republic of Iran Customs Administration show.
The UAE was Iran's second biggest trading partner during the period under review after China.
Iran’s exports to the UAE stood at 13.75 million tons worth $5.95 billion, down 24.53% and 12.06% in tonnage and value respectively year-on-year.
The UAE was Iran’s third biggest export destination during the year last year and the second biggest among Iranian neighbors after Iraq.
Iran mainly exported gas condensates, low-density oils and mineral oils to UAE during the 12-month period.
This is while the UAE exported 3.82 million tons of goods worth $6.56 billion to Iran, down 44.68% and 34.71% in tonnage and value respectively YOY.
Imports included steam turbine parts, cellphones, butter and turbojet parts.
The UAE was the second biggest exporter to Iran last year after China. It was the biggest among neighbors.