Iran, Armenia Sign Trade Pact in Yerevan

Iranian and Armenian trade representatives

TEHRAN—Iranian and Armenian trade officials in a meeting in Yerevan on Wednesday have signed a trade agreement. The trade agreement was signed by the chairmen of the chambers of commerce of Tehran and Yerevan in the Armenian capital today.

Head of Tehran’s Chamber of Commerce Yahya Al-e Eshaq, heading a ranking trade delegation, is in Armenia to discuss bilateral ties with senior Armenian officials.

At the meeting, head of Yerevan’s Chamber of Commerce Robert Haratounyan pointed to the current Iran-Armenia relations and said the Iranian delegation’s visit to Armenia provides the two sides with a good opportunity for boosting mutual cooperation between the two countries.

Earlier in the day, Al-e Eshaq called for the further expansion of trade ties between Iran and Armenia, saying that the Islamic Republic can open new horizons to its northern neighbor.

“Iran can open the doors to Armenia for the transit of goods to 14 neighboring countries,” Al-e Eshaq told Armenpress new agency.

The Iranian official noted that if certain problems between the two countries are settled, the two countries’ economic relations will improve.

He pointed to a possible establishment of a copyright-free trade regime between Iran and Armenia as a very important issue and said, “As far as I know, the Islamic Republic does not have any problem with this regime and it is up to the Armenian officials to decide about the establishment of such a regime in their economic relations with Iran.”

“The second problem pertains to the 20 to 30 percent rate of customs tariffs, which is too high for Armenia, who is a member of the World Trade Organization (WTO),” Al-e Eshaq said.

Last month, Armenian Ambassador to Tehran Grigor Arakelyan urged Tehran and Yerevan to further broaden their relations in different areas.

Arakelyan made the call in a meeting with Chairman of the Iranian Parliament’s National Security and Foreign Relations Commission Alaeddin Boroujerdi in Tehran.

“I hope that during the presidency of Iranian President-elect Hassan Rouhani, Iran and Armenia will further expand their relations in all fields,” the Armenian ambassador said.

In recent years, Iran and its northern neighbor Armenia have boosted cooperation, signed agreements on energy cooperation, and agreed to cooperate in technology and research and to enhance ties in commerce and economy.

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and his Armenian counterpart pledged in December 2011 to further expand “high-level relations” between their nations and, in particular, give new impetus to the implementation of joint energy projects that have fallen behind schedule.

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