Tehran, Ashgabat discuss expansion of trade ties

Tehran Times – Head of Iran Chamber of Commerce Industries, Mines and Agriculture (ICCIMA) held talks with Turkmenistan’s Minister of Trade and Foreign Economic Relations on Monday to discuss avenues of economic cooperation.

Gholamhossein Shafeie who visited Turkmenistan on top of a 75-member delegation to attend the First Caspian Sea Economic Forum, met with Amandurdy Ishanov on the side lines of the event.

Speaking in the meeting, Shafeie referred to the establishment of the Iran-Turkmenistan Joint Chamber of Commerce in Tehran and urged representatives of Turkmenistan’s private sector to establish a Turkmen-Iranian Joint Chamber of Commerce in Ashgabat.

The need for facilitating visa issuance, development of transportation, development of the two sides’ aquatic industries and the protection of the marine environment were among the issues discussed by during the meeting with the Turkmen Trade and Foreign Economic Minister.

The officials also underlined the first Caspian Sea Economic Forum as a positive step toward expansion of trade among the Caspian Sea littoral nations, expressing hope that the summit would be the beginning of a new chapter in the economic relations of the five Caspian Sea countries.

In this regard, referring to the volume of regional trade among the Caspian Sea nations, Shafeie noted that “these five countries’ foreign trade is currently over $950 billion but the share of trade among themselves is about $25 billion.”

“It can be argued that the development of trade relations among these five countries has not been their priority in recent years,” he added.

Ishanov for his part, stressed the importance of his country’s economic relations with Iran, saying that petrochemicals and agricultural products are some of the most important commodities exchanged between the two countries.

According to the official, development of economic relations requires proper transportation infrastructure and given the necessity, Turkmen President has instructed to solve all the problems pertain to the rail transportation with Iran.

He further welcomed the idea of establishing a Turkmenistan-Iran Chamber of Commerce in Ashgabat and said he would follow through with the country’s private sector and the Foreign Ministry in order to make that happen.

On the sidelines of the First Caspian Sea Economic Forum, President of Turkmenistan Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov also held a meeting with Iran’s First Vice-President Es’haq Jahangiri in the Turkmen city of Awaza.

During the meeting, the two sides exchanged views on the prospects for cooperation in trade and economy and stressed their determination for expansion of trade ties.
The officials also discussed cooperation in oil and energy sectors.