Envoy: Azerbaijan, Iran to start discussions over preferential trade agreement

17 June 2020 17:21 (UTC+04:00)

By Akbar Mammadov

Azerbaijan and Iran will start discussing technical aspects of the preferential trade agreement between the two countries, Iran’s Ambassador to Azerbaijan Javad Jahangirzada said on a meeting on June 17.

The ambassador made the remarks during the meeting between Deputy Chairman of the Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture of Iran Mohammad Reza Karbasi, the heads of special commissions of the chamber and Ambassador Jahangirzada, in which the Iranian officials put forward a number of proposals to strengthen economic and trade ties between Iran and Azerbaijan.

In addition, the Iranian ambassador said that the establishment of the joint industrial park between Iran and Azerbaijan is in the spotlight, adding that this will increase trade turnover between the two countries.

Noting the trade turnover between the two countries has increased fivefold in recent years, Jahangirzada highlighted the fact that Iran and Azerbaijan plan to increase bilateral trade turnover to $5 billion per year.

On May 23, Iranian First Vice President Ishaq Jahangiri instructed the Iranian Ministry of Industry, Mines and Trade and the Foreign Ministry to take steps to discuss, initially and temporarily sign a preferential trade agreement between Iran and Azerbaijan.

He also reminded that during the coronavirus pandemic, Iranian transit trucks have used Azerbaijani territory in cooperation with Azerbaijan.

In the meantime, at the meeting held between Iran’s Energy Minister Rza Ardakanian and Azerbaijan’s Deputy Prime Minister Shahin Mustafayev, the Iranian government expressed its gratitude to Azerbaijan for the assistance and cooperation during the coronavirus pandemic.

The Iranian minister noted that Azerbaijan had provided financial assistance in the fight against coronavirus and allowed Iranian citizens to be repatriated from Azerbaijan to their country during the pandemic.

In his turn, Mustafayev said that Azerbaijan is ready to comprehensively develop relations with Iran, and will focus on joint projects of the three countries (Azerbaijan, Russia and Iran), such as electricity synchronization.

Furthermore, another telephone-conference meeting of Iranian and Azerbaijani sides have taken place between Azerbaijan’s Deputy Prime Minister Shahin Mustafayev and Iranian Minister of Economic Affairs and Finance, Iranian co-chair of the Iran-Azerbaijan Joint Interstate Commission Farhad Dejpasand.

During the meeting, Dejpasand said that it was hoped that the 14th meeting of the Azerbaijan-Iran Joint Intergovernmental Commission would be held in Tehran in the near future in full compliance with health protocols.

Regarding that, the Iranian minister also invited the Deputy Prime Minister of Azerbaijan to visit Iran and said that economic relations would develop as a result of joint cooperation and assistance of the two countries.

Moreover, the sides also held discussions on the latest state of joint projects of Azerbaijan and Iran in the North-South Corridor, as well as the establishment of a joint industrial park in the Bilasuvar region of Iran near the border

In the meantime, in during his visit to Russia on June 16, Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif emphasized that in the near future, as conditions allow, a summit between Iran, Russia and Azerbaijan will be held.

It should be noted that on March 7, Azerbaijani provided $5 million in humanitarian aid to Iran to fight the coronavirus infection.

Earlier, on June 7, Davud Shayegan, the head of the Management and Planning Organization of Ardabil province, said that Azerbaijan and Iran would establish the logistics centre along with a joint industrial town in Iran’s Ardabil province.

In 2019, Iran and Azerbaijan reached an agreement to establish a joint industrial Iran-Azerbaijan industrial park in the Ardabil province.

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Akbar Mammadov  is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow him on Twitter: @AkbarMammadov97

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