EghtesadOnline: Iran and Armenia traded 1.09 million tons of commodities worth $264 million during the first nine months of the current Iranian year (March 20, 2020-Jan. 19), registering a 29% decline in value compared with the similar period of last year, according to the co-chair of Iran-Armenia Chamber of Commerce.
“Iran’s exports amounted to 1.08 million tons worth $251.63 million, registering a 26% year-on-year fall,” Hervik Yarijanian was also quoted as saying by Fars News Agency.
The official added that imports stood at 5,619 tons worth $12.36 million.
Noting that Iran has ample capacity to boost trade with Armenia, the official said, “Trade expansion with Armenia facilitates our presence in the markets of the Commonwealth of Independent States, the Eurasian Economic Union and Europe.”
Yarijanian announced that Armenia has placed a six-month ban on imports from Turkey.
“We have an opportunity here to introduce our high-quality goods into the Armenian market and gain a foothold in the absence of a main rival. For this to happen, we need the cooperation of all state-owned and private sector enterprises. On top of different kinds of commodities, Iran can export services and technical knowhow to Armenia with more reasonable prices than other regional rivals,” he said.
Gholamhossein Shafei, the head of Iran Chamber of Commerce, Industries, Mines and Agriculture, says the two sides can engage in joint production by establishing production units in Armenia, or transferring part of the production lines for some commodities to the neighboring country.
Armenian Minister of Economy Vahan Kerobyan was in Tehran in January for talks with Iranian officials to boost bilateral economic ties.
Hamid Zadboum, the head of Trade Promotion Organization of Iran, has described Armenia as “Iran’s gateway to the Eurasian Economic Union region”.
Mojtaba Mousavian, the deputy head of TPO, said negotiations were held on expanding the list of commodities included in Iran and the Eurasian Economic Union’s preferential trade agreement, banking and transit cooperation, connecting Aras Free Trade Zone in Iran’s East Azarbaijan Province and Meghri Free Economic Zone in Armenia’s Syunik Province.
Armenia has announced that it is to replace 2,250 Turkish products with Iranian goods, the official said.
"Due to Turkish sanctions, Armenia intends to replace Iranian goods with 2,250 items imported from Turkey," he was quoted as saying by Mehr News Agency.
He added that in the next step, Armenia will supply its required raw materials from Iran, too.
The Yerevan government suspended the import of Turkish–made goods to Armenia as of Jan. 1 in response to Turkish military support for the Republic of Azerbaijan.
Armenian Ministry of Economy has said the ban will not increase the price of goods in the country, because it believes that the consumption of Turkish goods is not dominant in this country and Yerevan is able to compensate for the shortage of Turkish goods from countries such as Iran, Belarus, Russia and China.
“Iran’s exports to Armenia reached $330 million in 2019, 29% and 20% of which pertained to oil derivatives and cement and clinker respectively. Other main exported products were iron, steel and plastic products, fruit and vegetables, tile and ceramics, construction glass, chemicals and fertilizers,” Behrouz Hosn-Olfat, another TPO official, has been quoted as saying.
Iran’s Ambassador to Armenia Abbas Zohouri, as part of a recent trip to Aras Free Economic Zone, visited the Norduz checkpoint — the border checkpoint into Armenia from Iran, FEZ’s press service said.
“As Iran’s gateway to the Eurasian market, the Norduz border has an important role for the country’s exports and attraction of foreign currency and creates conditions for the daily growing presence of Iranian products in Eurasian and CIS markets,” the ambassador said during a meeting with the head of the Jolfa County and other local officials, Armenpress reported.
Ambassador Zohouri said the border crossing point is a favorable condition for Jolfa County and Aras FEZ, affirming the importance of attracting investments and developing cooperation.
The Meghri-Norduz checkpoint is the only land border between Armenia and Iran. There are Free Economic Zones operating on both sides and the development of cooperation in these zones and the checkpoint is on the agenda of discussions.