TEHRAN (Tehran Times)—Iran and Armenia have serious potential for expanding their bilateral economic ties and also bolstering relations with the Eurasian Economic Union, Armenian Minister of Economy Karen Chshmaritian said at a press conference yesterday after a meeting with Iranian Communications and Information Technology Minister Mahmoud Vaezi in Tehran.
Chshmaritian said, “we stressed Iran-Armenia cooperation in the field of information technology and I think that there is high potentiality for cooperation in this area.”
The Armenian government intends to open the country’s doors for economic cooperation with other countries, especially with Iran, he highlighted.
“Today, we are making serious agreements on economic cooperation and I hope that these agreements will lead to some fruitful results in the future,” Chshmaritian noted.
He expressed hope that the old friendship between Iran and Armenia will lead to expanded economic cooperation between the two countries.
“Given that Armenia is one of the member states of the Eurasian Economic Union, we discussed the ways to export our products to these countries,” Vaezi said.
Vaezi mentioned the telecommunications sector as well as research and development activities as the areas in which the two countries have the potential to increase bilateral ties.
Answering a question by the Tehran Times about the role of Armenia in the promotion of Iran’s trade with the Eurasian Economic Union, the minister explained that, “the cost for the export of products to Russia and other Eurasian states is high for Iran, in a way that the imports of Iranian products are entitled to a tariff of over 20 percent in those countries.”
It makes competition difficult for the Iranian private sector, he noted.
“The Russian market is a very large one and given that there are many transit routes between Iran and Russia, through roads, railways and sea routes, we could imagine this market as one of our major export destinations. In this regard, I discussed the issue with the Armenian minister and it was decided that Armenia [would] reduce the tariff for importing products from Iran and also lower the tariff for transit of Iranian goods to the Eurasian countries, especially Russia,” Vaezi added.
Armenia was the 23rd largest importer of Iranian non-oil goods in the first half of the current Iranian calendar year (March 21-Septemebr 22), according to the Iran Customs Administration.
Iran exported $63.847 million worth of non-oil goods to Armenia and imported $5.409 million worth of non-oil goods from the country in the six-month period.
Armenia was the 27th leading importer of Iranian non-oil goods in the previous Iranian calendar year, which ended on March 20, importing $120.047 million worth of non-oil goods from Iran and exporting $19.37 million worth of non-oil products to the country.