EghtesadOnline: Iran and Thailand traded $430 million worth of commodities during the first nine months of the current Iranian year (March 20-Dec. 20, 2020), $295 million of which pertained to Iran’s exports to the Southeast Asian country, according to Iran’s ambassador to Bangkok.
“Iran’s main exported products were steel, which alone accounted for 65% of the overall sum, seafood, fruit and vegetable, petrochemical products, medical equipment, minerals and plastic products. In return, we imported rubber and rubber products, motorcycles and their spare parts, processed fruit, fishing net, chemicals, rice, ceramics and auto parts,” Reza Nobakhti was quoted as saying by ISNA.
The envoy noted that apart from the US sanctions on the Iranian economy, the Covid-19 pandemic has also negatively impacted Iran-Thailand trade and bilateral exchanges are expected to decline by the fiscal yearend (March 20).
He added that Thailand was Iran’s 11th biggest export destination over the nine-month period under review and ninth in the last Iranian year (March 2019-20), “which places it above some neighboring countries, including Azerbaijan, Russia, Qatar, Armenia, Oman and Kuwait”.
Last Iranian year’s bilateral trade stood at $831 million with Iran’s exports to and imports from Thailand at $622 million and $209 million respectively.
“Joining the World Trade Organization and regional trade agreements can eliminate most of our problems in the field of commerce, most of which have to do with banking transaction handicaps, customs regulations and restrictions,” Nobakhti said.
“For now, we see barter trade as a solution and the Iranian Embassy in Bangkok is working with the private sector from both sides to make this happen … Using local currencies in bilateral trade is also being considered.”
The foreign ministers of Iran and Thailand discussed plans for economic and political cooperation between the two countries earlier this month.
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and his Thai counterpart Don Pramudwinai held a telephone conversation.
The two senior diplomats talked about the latest developments in Tehran-Bangkok ties, particularly the political and consular relations, Tasnim News Agency reported.
They also explored avenues for economic cooperation between the two nations.
In a message to Thailand’s Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha in December, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani looked forward to the promotion of bilateral ties considering the age-old friendship and the mutual determination of the two countries’ authorities.