Iranian President Approves Free Trade Zone with EAEU

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has tasked the country’s Ministry of Industry, Mine and Trade to start implementing the free trade zone agreement with the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU), the president’s press service reported on Monday.

Iran’s parliament, the Majlis, ratified the document in June.

The Eurasian Economic Union and Iran signed the temporary agreement on free trade zone that is aimed at boosting trade between the countries through eased customs regulations, in May last year. The law passed by the parliament particularly contains provisions on preferential tax regulation for import and export operations and on compiling a list of goods eligible for reduced customs duties.

The EAEU is an international economic integration of Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Armenia and Kyrgyzstan. It became operational on January 1, 2015.

The free trade deal is another step toward closer economic ties between Russia and Iran, as the Middle Eastern country is hit by U.S. sanctions over its nuclear program. 

Last month, a Russian trade delegation consisting of 250 Russian businessmen visited Tehran for talks on improving trade relations. 

According to Russia’s Minister for North Caucasus Affairs Sergei Chebotarev, Russian-Iranian trade exceeded $1.7 billion in 2018, but the two countries have the potential to increase this indicator.

“In 2018, bilateral trade exceeded $1.7 billion, and it grew compared to 2017,” Chebotarev said in Tehran.

The minister noted that this volume was very modest adding that Russia and Iran had a “much higher potential” in this field. According to him, the two sides must do everything possible to achieve a new level in bilateral trade.