EghtesadOnline: Iran’s non-oil trade reached $4.54 billion with members of the Economic Cooperation Organization, namely Turkey, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan, during the first half of the current Iranian year (March 21-Sept. 21).
Latest data released by the Islamic Republic of Iran Customs Administration show Iran traded 9.199 million tons of non-oil commodities with ECO member states during the period.
Iran’s exports totaled 6.540 million tons worth $2.52 billion during the period.
Afghanistan was the main destination of Iranian goods among ECO members, solely importing $1.108 billion worth of commodities from Iran.
Imports stood at 2.657 million tons worth $2.016 billion, with Turkey topping the list of ECO member countries with the highest value of exports to Iran. The neighboring country alone accounted for 1.834 billion of the total imports.
The Economic Cooperation Organization is a Eurasian political and economic intergovernmental organization founded in 1984 in Tehran by the leaders of Iran, Pakistan and Turkey. It provides a platform to discuss ways of improving development and promoting trade and investment opportunities.
An ad hoc organization under the United Nations Charter, ECO aims to establish a single market for goods and services.
ECO's secretariat and cultural department are located in Iran, its economic bureau is in Turkey and its scientific bureau is in Pakistan. Consisting of predominantly Muslim-majority states, it is a trade bloc for Central Asian states connected to the Mediterranean region through Turkey, to the Persian Gulf via Iran and to the Arabian Sea via Pakistan.
Iran’s overall non-oil foreign trade stood at 62.84 million tons worth $30.34 billion during the first half of the current fiscal year (March 20-Sept. 21), indicating a 28% decline in value compared with the corresponding period of last year.
H1 non-oil exports accounted for 46.31 million tons worth $13.56 billion and imports constituted 16.52 million tons worth $16.78 billion of the total trade figure.
As such, the country’s trade deficit stood at $3.22 billion over the period under review.
Compared with the corresponding period of last year (March 21-Sept. 21), exports and imports registered a 35% and 21% decline in value, respectively.
The above figures suggest ECO member states accounted for more than 7% of Iran's total trade with other countries in H1.
The 28th Executive Committee and the 18th General Assembly of the Economic Cooperation Organization’s Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ECO-CCI) was held as a web conference on Oct. 19, deputy for international affairs of Iran Chamber of Commerce, Industries, Mines and Agriculture said.
Representatives of all 10 ECO members, namely Iran, Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, Pakistan, Turkey, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Turkmenistan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan, along with officials of ECO’s Secretariat in Tehran and ECO Trade and Development Bank, took part in the conference.
Specialized committees on transportation, trade facilitation, tourism, arbitration, industry, investments, promotion of SMEs and women entrepreneurs presented their reports of activity during the virtual event, at which previous agreements were followed up and ways of eliminating cooperation barriers were surveyed.
As of Oct. 19 and as per the ECO-CCI Statute, Iran presided over the ECO-CCI for two years.
At this meeting, Gholamhossein Shafei, the president of ICCIMA and ECO-CCI, delivered a speech hailing the efforts of Azarakhsh Hafizi’s efforts in leading the ECO-CCI during his tenure as the president of the ECO CCI stating that the intra ECO trade is inadequate and needs to be fortified in due manner in collaboration with member states.
After presenting the report of the specialized committees (for which the reports of the activities of the Tourism and Women Entrepreneurs Council were conducted by Iranian delegates), according to paragraph 2 of the statute of the ECO-CCI, the presidency of ECO-CCI chamber was transferred from Afghanistan to Iran.
At this meeting- Mohammad Reza Karbasi, secretary-general of the Iranian Committee of ECO-CCI and deputy for international affairs of ICCIMA, named the implementation of intra ECO agreements, ECOTA in particular, with a new approach, tourism in the ECO region, especially health tourism, and the development of rail and road transport corridors, including KTAI and ITI, and their expansion and marketing with the help of the private sector, were the most important issues facing the ECO chamber.
Hossein Salimi, a board member of ECO-CCI, reiterated the proposal for the joint manufacture of a car by ECO member states, namely ECO car, which was already distributed among member chambers and called for the formation of a joint technical committee to discuss the details and implementation of this plan, which was highly welcomed by the house.