EghtesadOnline: The private sectors of Iran and Armenia signed two memoranda of understanding to expand their presence in the Eurasian Economic Union market and increase economic ties between Iranian and Armenian businesswomen at Iran’s Chamber of Commerce, Industries, Mines and Agriculture in Tehran on Monday.
The signatories were member of ICCIMA board of directors and head of the National Center for Iranian Business Women, Fatemeh Moqimi, and the head of Armenia’s Businesswomen Support Foundation, and advisor to the president of Armenia’s Chamber of Commerce and Industry on business, tourism and event management, Lilya Gevorgyan.
The two sides also agreed to boost and support women’s entrepreneurial capabilities in trade and expand collaboration in tourism.
Iran and EEU are looking to substantially increase trade. The two sides signed a three-year provisional agreement in Astana, Kazakhstan, on May 17, 2018, for the bloc to welcome Iran into EEU. The agreement came into effect on Oct. 27. The agreement is expected to become a free trade deal within three years, according to Financial Tribune.
Iran and EEU have listed 862 types of commodities in their three-year provisional trade agreement. As per the deal, Iran will enjoy easier export terms and lower customs duties on 502 items and the same goes for 360 items from EEU member states.
Iran and Armenia discussed the possibility of establishing a special-purpose vehicle for conducting trade between the two neighboring countries in a meeting to survey ways of expanding bilateral ties held at Tehran Chamber of Commerce, Industries, Mines and Agriculture last month.
The Iranian side suggested that the vehicle would resemble the Instrument in Support of Trade Exchanges (INSTEX), the brainchild of the European Union after the US unilaterally pulled out of Iran’s nuclear deal last year and unleashed a series of sanctions described as "toughest ever".
The system, though not yet operated by Europe, is similar to a barter deal, mainly in the form of Iran selling oil to Europe in exchange for importing other commodities.
“Armenia exported close to $94 million worth of commodities to Iran in 2018, which accounts for only 4% of all its exports and imported goods worth $269 million, which make up 6% of all its imports. The trade agreement between Iran and EEU can prepare the ground for increasing trade ties between the two countries,” the deputy head of Tehran Chamber of Commerce, Industries, mines and Agriculture for international affairs, Hesamoddin Hallaj, said.
On Sunday, Tehran hosted Iran-Eurasia Trade Forum in the presence of EEU Trade Minister Veronika Nikishina, Minister of Customs Cooperation of the Eurasian Economic Commission Nurlan Akmatov, Iran's Energy Minister Reza Ardakanian, who doubles as president of Iran's joint economic commissions with Russia and Armenia, President of Trade Promotion Organization of Iran Hamid Zadboum, Chairman of the Islamic Republic of Iran Customs Administration Mehdi Mir-Ashrafi and Deputy Industries Minister Hossein Modarres Khiyabani.