Mahmoud Vaezi, the Minister of Communication and Information Technology, and the co-Chairman of Iran-Russia Joint Economic Cooperation Commission, and Alexander Novak, the Russian Energy Minister and the other co-Chairman of the Joint Commission, in their meetings and discussions in Moscow, have come to a number of major agreements, including a deal on investment guarantee, and visa facilitation.
The Public Relation Center of the ICT Ministry reports that Friday, Vaezi and Novak, at the conclusion of the negotiations between the two delegations and the inauguration of the economic website of the embassy of the I.R. of Iran in Russia, held a press conference, emphasizing on the agreement between Iran and Russia regarding development of relations within the strategic framework verified by Hassan Rouhani and Vladimir Putin, the presidents of the two countries.
According to the media diplomacy section of the Iranian Embassy in Moscow, Novak stated that in their negotiations with the Iranian party, emphasis was made on the necessity of finding solutions for developing and expanding goods and products exchange between the two countries, expressing that: “We have managed to come to an essential agreements in regard to investment guarantee and commercial visa facilitation.”
He added that: “In general, a great many things have been accomplished including the signing of a number of cooperation agreements in Customs sector, but there has to be certain things accomplished in the banking section also, to increase inter-banking credit and relations.”
Novak went on to say: “During the negotiations, both parties studied the possibilities of establishing free trade zones, drafting a roadmap of industrial cooperation, including export of goods and products to both countries and cooperation in the fields of energy and developing transport services.”
He referred to the commencement of regular flights between Tehran and Astrakhan from last Tuesday, simultaneous with the visit of Vaezi and the Iranian delegation, saying: “Considering the development of communication and information technologies in the Astrakhan region of Russia, there are possibilities for expanding cooperation between this province and Iran in various sectors, including agriculture.”
Novak elaborated on the importance of agriculture as a major section of Iran-Russia relations, expressing that: “For instance, Russia exports wheat, and imports summer crops, fruits and similar items from Iran.”
He also reported of the holding of the next session of Iran-Russia Joint Economic Cooperation Commission, this November.
Vaezi, the Iranian co-Chairman of the Joint Economic Commission, also spoke in this meeting, in presence of Mahdi Sanayee, Iran Ambassador to Moscow, saying that: “The relations of the two countries have entered a new stage where we are enjoying closer and more constructive ties for establishment of peace and stability in the region.”
He added: “We are closely collaborating with Russia in our joint fight against terrorism.”
Stating that the bilateral cooperation between Tehran and Moscow in economic, commercial, and cultural sectors is growing rapidly, Vaezi expressed that: “Close relationship between the Presidents of both nations is a strong background for both countries. During today’s negotiations, we went over some useful and constructive topics, already decided between Iranian and Russian heads of state in Tehran, and also in last year’s session of the Joint Economic Cooperation Commission in Moscow.”
He added that: “In the Commission we settled on a one-year plan and a strategic five-year program, and we are satisfied with the good progress we have made. Further steps should be taken to pave the way and remove obstacles from our cooperation path. In this regard, new cooperation documents have been signed, covering visa services, customs and investment; we are already working on the finalization of another 13 cooperation documents.”
The Communication Minister said: “In regard to moving toward free trade and identifying key projects for programming the five year plan, certain actions have been undertaken. On the other hand, the relations between the two countries have been progressing very nicely, and currently we are working on solving the banking, customs, visa and investment issues; in case these are also addressed, it will multiply the current development speed.”
The Iranian co-Chairman of the Joint Economic Cooperation Commission underscored that: “In today’s meeting, a number of important decisions were taken, so that the industrial roadmap is signed as soon as possible, and the joined workgroups of energy, housing and urban development, also agriculture and forestry cooperation are established.”
Vaezi continued by referring to the decisions made regarding the visit of the Iranian Central Bank’s President to Moscow, the Russian Minister of North Caucuses Cooperation to Tehran, holding the 13th session of the Joint Economic Commission of the two countries on the final two months of 2016, and also the rotatory holding of the Regional Conference of Neighboring Provinces of the Caspian Sea, in Russia and Iran.
At the continuation of the press conference, Vaezi and Novak addressed the questions of the reporters.
The Minister of Communication, during his 3-day stay in Moscow, held negotiating with Veronica Nikishina, the Eurasian Union’s Commerce Minister regarding free trade between Tehran and the Union with zero and low tariffs for goods and products agreed upon by both countries, Nikolay Nikiforov, the Minister for Communication and Mass Media, and Denis Manturov, the Minister of Trade and Industry.
From the commencement of the 11th government, Iran and Russia implemented a strategy to further expand bilateral cooperation and regional collaboration, breathing new life into their declining economic relations.
The parties experienced their lowest trade volume in the 2013 period, the figure dropping from $4 Billion to a little above $1 Billion.
Through the actions of the 11th government, in 2014 the trade volume reached $1.7 Billion, growing yet another 30% in 2015, and according to latest statistics, during the first half of the present year shows a 69% growth compared to the same period in 2015.
The Eurasian Economic Union, with a collective population of 180 Million, include Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kirgizstan and Armenia, consisting a land mass of 20 Million square kilometers; and because of its geographical position and closeness, counts as a huge market for Iranian goods and products. Establishment of free trade can create countless opportunities for the private sector in Iran and the member nations of this Union.