Iran reveals plans to enter Russia-led free trade zone
Iran will sign a free-trade agreement with the Eurasian Economic Union (EEU) on January 18, a spokesman for the country's Industry Ministry, Omid Ghalibaf, announced on Tuesday.
The EEU, which is based on the Customs Union of Russia, Kazakhstan, and Belarus, was established in 2015. It was later joined by Armenia and Kyrgyzstan. In 2016, Vietnam officially became the first non-regional country to become a free-trade partner of the bloc. The union is designed to ensure the free movement of goods, services, capital, and workers between member nations.
In the meantime, Tehran is able to exchange goods with EEU member states on the basis of preferential trade, the Iranian official explained. The union has provided discounts for Iranian goods, while Tehran has granted preferences to items originating in the Eurasian bloc.
Iran’s ambassador to Russia, Kazem Jalali, earlier announced that Tehran and the EEU had successfully completed talks on the creation of a free-trade zone and now the agreement is awaiting ratification by the parliaments of the member states and Iran.
Cooperation between Russia and Iran has started rapidly expanding amid Western sanctions on Moscow and Tehran. In January-October, trade turnover between the two countries reached $4 billion, surpassing the figure for all of 2021, according to Russia’s Customs Service. Russian exports to Iran surged by 27%, while imports from the country jumped by 10%, the data showed.
Since the start of the year, the nations have reached a number of agreements, including for the purchase of aircraft equipment, and for the joint construction of gas pipelines and gas field development.
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