EghtesadOnline: A forum entitled “Eurasian Economic Union: A Bridge to Free Trade with the World” is scheduled to be held in the Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting Conference Center located in Tehran on Aug. 20.
The event, jointly organized by the Trade Training Center of the Ministry of Industries, Mining and Trade, Persian Gulf Studies Center and the Trade Promotion Organization of Iran, will focus on surveying trade and investment opportunities in the Eurasian Economic Union.
Iran and EEU signed a three-year provisional agreement in Astana, Kazakhstan, on May 17, 2018, for the bloc to welcome Iran into EEU. The arrangement, which lowers or abolishes customs duties, is the first step toward implementing free trade between Iran and five members of the union.
The two sides 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.
Based on latest figures released by the Islamic Republic of Iran Customs Administration, Iran and EEU have traded of 6.86 million tons of commodities worth $2.41 billion worth of goods since Oct. 27, 2019, when a preferential trade agreement between the two sides came into effect up until June 20, 2020.
“Though the region has been struggling with the Covid-19 pandemic for more than half of this period, trade has not faltered. Iran and EEU accounted for 28% and 72% of total trade respectively over the period,” IRICA Spokesman Rouhollah Latifi was quoted as saying by Mehr News Agency.
“Iran’s total exports to the bloc stood at 1.65 million tons valued at $681 million. Imports from the five EEU member states hit 5.2 million tons worth $1.73 billion, $1.17 billion of which (67.3%) were carried out under the trade agreement,” he said.
“Iran exported $367 million worth of goods to Russia during the period, making it our main export destination among the five EEU member states. The export volume accounted for 54% of Iran’s total exports to EEU during the period. Russia was followed by Armenia with $164 million (24%) and Kazakhstan with $104 million (15%), Kyrgyzstan with $38 million (5.6%) and Belarus with $9 million (1.3%).”
Russia was also the Eurasian Economic Union’s biggest exporter to Iran with $1.34 billion to account for 80% of Iran’s total imports from the bloc. It was followed by Kazakhstan with $287.19 million (16.5%), Belarus with $33.73 million (1.9%), Armenia with $10 million (0.5%) and Kyrgyzstan with $5.6 million (0.32%).
According to Latifi, Iran’s main exported commodities over the period included apples, fresh and dried pistachios, liquefied gas, kiwis, cucumbers and pickles, raisins, cabbage, cauliflower and broccoli.
Imports, he added, mainly constituted essential goods and animal feed raw material, such as barley, products made of wheat, field corn, sunflower oil, meat and paper.
Also known as necessity goods, essential goods are products consumers will buy, regardless of changes in income levels.
The Eurasian Economic Union member states include Russia, Kazakhstan, Armenia, Belarus and Kyrgyzstan.