Iran began talks on free trade with the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) more than a year after Tehran clinched a preferential trade agreement with the bloc which consists of Russia, Armenia, Kazakhstan, Belarus and Kyrgyzstan.
A senior official at Iran’s Trade Promotion Organization (TPO) said on Wednesday that both Iran and the EAEU were eager to remove trade tariffs for nearly 80 percent of the goods they exchange.
“New talks for free trade started in February so that the two side can negotiate about all goods they trade but 20 percent that they have no interest in liberalizing,” said Behrouz Olfat, who serves as TPO’s head of Europe and America office.
Olfat said reaching a free trade deal with the EAEU may take years although he insisted that Iran is determined to clinch the agreement because of the long-term impacts it could have on business and economic activity in the country.
The official added that the two sides have a potential to increase the value of their annual trade to $30 billion from a current figure of $3.5 billion.
Iran reached a preferential trade agreement with the EAEU in October 2019 to reduce tariffs for 883 items of goods. Olfat said the two sides had implemented the new tariff regime on 780 goods.
Source: Iranian media