By Nigar Abbasova
Azerbaijan and the Islamic Republic of Iran recorded a jump in the volume of trade turnover last year. Economy Minister Shahin Mustafayev said that the figure increased by 70 percent in 2016.
The minister, addressing an event at the Iranian Embassy in Baku, said that the two countries are constantly bolstering ties in different spheres, noting that nearly 40 documents have already been signed between the sides.
Trade turnover between Azerbaijan and Iran amounted to $175 million in January to November 2016, $130.13 million of which accounted for the import from Iran, according to the State Customs Committee of Azerbaijan. The country's exports to Iran almost doubled to $14.4 million in the first quarter of 2016, while imports increased from $19.4 million in 2015 to $27 million in 2016.
In 2015, the index of trade turnover between the two countries stood at $ 123.786 million.
Currently, the two countries are focused on expanding economic ties in various fields, including industry, agriculture, energy, alternative energy, and transportation.
Iran’s Minister of Communications and Information Technology Mahmoud Vaezi earlier said that the two countries can develop mutual use of agricultural lands, organize joint export of agricultural products to third countries, and production of various agro-technologies, mentioning that the sides have already created a trade committee and determined a list of goods exported and imported by the two countries.
Iran is also Azerbaijan’s partner in construction of pharma plant in Pirallahi Industrial Park, which will start producing 84 kinds of medicines in the third quarter of 2018. The major part of drugs is planned to be sold on Azerbaijan’s domestic market, while a certain part will be exported.
Besides, the countries are reportedly considering the option on using the national currencies– the manat and the rial – in bilateral trade. The issue has come in the spotlight following the announcement by the Central Bank of Iran (CBI) to stop using USD as its currency of choice in its financial and foreign exchange reports.
Nigar Abbasova is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow her on Twitter: @nigyar_abbasova
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