EghtesadOnline: Iran’s commercial exchanges with its biggest trading partner China stood at $6.4 billion during the first five months of 2020 to register a 41.3% decline compared with the corresponding period of 2019.
According to data provided by the General Administration of Customs of the People’s Republic of China, Iran’s exports to China stood at $2.76 billion for the period under review, indicating a 62.2% year-on-year decline.
In return, China exported $3.69 billion worth of commodities to Iran during the same period to register a 1.2% YOY decrease.
Bilateral trade in May stood at $1.13 billion. Iran’s exports to China accounted for $370,744 of the figure while imports stood at $761.263.
Trade with China in 2019 stood at $23.02 billion to register a decline of 34.3% compared to 2018.
Iran exported $13.43 billion worth of commodities to China last year, 36.3% less year-on-year. In return, China exported $9.59 billion worth of goods to Iran, down 31.2% YOY.
Approximately 80% of China's total imports from Iran are oil and the rest is mineral and chemical products.
According to the American Enterprise Institute, China invested $26.92 billion in Iran from 2005 to 2019.
Of the total investment, 1.53 billion were made in chemical industries, $11.1 billion in energy, $4.96 billion in metals, $160 million in real estate, $6.92 billion in transport and $2.25 billion in utilities.
The value of China’s overseas investment and construction combined since 2005 exceeds $2 trillion.
Iran-China trade has fallen recently due to the outbreak of coronavirus. However, the two sides are taking measures to boost up their trade turnover back to its pre-coronavirus levels.
The Iranian Cabinet approved the final draft of a 25-year roadmap for Iran-China strategic relations earlier in June.
The main purpose of the plan is to promote bilateral strategic cooperation at regional and international levels using a win-win approach.
"This plan prepares the ground for Iran-China collaboration in key projects and infrastructural development, including the great Belt and Road Initiative. It is an opportunity to attract investment in different economic sectors such as industry, tourism, information technology and communications," President Hassan Rouhani said on June 22.
Belt and Road is a global development strategy promoted by the Chinese government.
Iran prepared the 25-year roadmap for strategic relations with China and Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif presented it to Chinese authorities during his visit to Beijing in early 2019. The document outlines a vision for long-term cooperation between the two countries in various sectors.
Also in June, the Iran-China Chamber of Commerce and Industries signed a memorandum of understanding with China Foreign Trade Centre on economic cooperation.
The move follows the establishment of a joint arbitration committee between Iran and China in November 2019 to oversee trade between the two sides.
Tehran Chamber of Commerce, Industries, Mines and Agriculture signed a trilateral memorandum of understanding for cooperation with China’s Chamber of International Commerce and the Iranian Chamber of Commerce in Beijing late last year.