The visiting delegation of the I.R. of Iran, headed by Dr. Vaezi, Minister of Communication and Information Technology arrived in Astrakhan, in Southern Russia, within the framework of an official visit to meet with four Russian Ministers and also the Commerce Minister of Eurasia; The Iranian delegation intends to visit Moscow next.
According to the PR department of ICT Ministry, on the first program of this visit’s agenda, Vaezi meets and negotiates with Alexander Zhilkin, the Governor of Astrakhan region, and other economic officials of this province in regard to the development of inter-provincial cooperation, which is going to have an important role to play in increasing the exchange value of the existing trade and commercial relations between the two countries.
According to a report by IRNA news agency, in the working framework of the Iranian delegation, a joint session of Iran and Russia’s economic talks will be held, addressed by the ICT Minister, Iran’s Ambassador to the Russian Federation, Mr. Mehdi Sanayee, and also the Governor of Astrakhan, attended by representatives of the business sector.
The negotiations of the Iranian delegation with Astrakhan officials are progressing at a time when the 45-strong delegation of this region, during its four day visit to Iran which finished last evening, held discussion sessions with officials from Mazandaran province, and also participated in economic cooperation development forum of the two countries in Tehran.
The port city of Astrakhan, located at the point where the Volga River joins the Caspian Sea, is considered a land and water highway and at the moment, with more than 200 Iranian firms operating in this region, has become the focal point of commercial and economic activities of Iranians in the southern Russia.
Based on current statistics, the most recent of which dates back to 2012, around 39% of the foreign trade of Astrakhan Province occurs with the I.R. of Iran.
Based on this trip’s agenda, by the conclusion of this round of talks in Astrakhan, Dr. Vaezi will meet. Veronica Nikishina, Minister for Trade of the Eurasian Economic Union on Wednesday, to discuss cooperation development and study the current trend of negotiations for establishing Free Trade Agreement between Iran and this Union.
The Eurasian Economic Union, with a population exceeding 180 million people, consists of five nations of Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, and Armenia, and a land mass of 20 Million square km, is considered a major market for Iranian exports because of its geographical proximity; thus, the establishment of free trade can create huge overall opportunities for Iranian private sector and the members of these Union.
According to the media diplomacy section of the Iranian embassy in Russia, further meetings with Nikolay Nikiforov, the Minister for Communication and Mass Media, Denis Manturov, the Minister of Trade and Industry, and negotiations with Alexander Novak, the Russian Energy Minister, as Vaezi’s counterpart and the Russian co-Chairman of the Joint Economic Cooperation Commission, are other topics on the agenda of the Communication Minister for further expanding bilateral relations.
Visiting a number of industry and technology centers in the fields of communication, gas and energy, computers and data; and also meeting the managers of these centers, are other programs planned for this four-day trip by the Iranian delegation to Astrakhan and Moscow.
Last autumn, in the session of the Joint Economic Cooperation Commission, Iran and Russia managed to finalize a road-map for developing relations, including projects such as the construction of a steam power plant, development of Bushehr Atomic plant, and electrification of 495 km of the Garmsar-Incheh boron railroad.
From the onset of the 11th government, Iran and Russia have escalated their economic relations through a strategy for increasing their bilateral cooperation, and regional convergence.
Within the framework of activities and projects of the 11th government, the economic value of the relations of the two countries reached the figure of $1.7 Billion in 2014, witnessed a 30% growth in 2015, and according to latest statistics, in the first half of 2016 compared to its previous year, has already surpassed a 69% growth.