Iranian Energy Minister Reza Ardakanian highlighted the importance of the country’s closer cooperation with the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) and said the union provides a big opportunity to boost the Islamic Republic’s foreign trade.
Speaking at an international conference on Iran-EAEU trade held in Tehran on Sunday, Ardakanian expressed hope that the conference would pave the grounds for closer economic ties between the two sides.
“The formation of the EAEU is a good example of regional cooperation and with its expansion, the grounds for convergence of regional countries are provided more than ever, which will bring more peace and tranquility to the region,” he added.
“The development of trade with the EAEU member states is a great opportunity for (Iran’s) foreign trade, and the two sides need to interact more closely,” the minister went on to say.
Minister in charge of Customs Cooperation of the Eurasian Economic Commission (EEC) Nurlan Akmatov and Veronika Nikishina, Minister in charge of Trade of the Eurasian Economic Commission (EEC) also participated in the international conference.
In June, the Iranian parliament ratified an agreement that allows the administration to join a free trade zone with the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) countries.
The agreement, signed in Kazakhstan in May 2018, sets the main rules of trade between the EAEU, Iran and those of the World Trade Organization (WTO), of which Iran is not a member.
The free trade zone is planned to be in effect for four years, under which the EAEU will grant Iran tariff concessions on more than 500 items.
Russia’s State Duma and the Federation Council had ratified the agreement to establish Iran-EAEU free trade zone in November 2018.
The Eurasian Economic Union includes Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Russia. Iran and EAEU members started to develop the agreement on the free trade in 2015, though the signing was postponed several times.