Iran's Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian with External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on Wednesday (Image courtesy: MEA)
Iran's Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian has assured the exporters' community that any issues related to infrastructure affecting trade flows with India will be resolved soon, including by encouraging investments through the port of Chabahar being developed by New Delhi.
Abdollahian discussed the upcoming trade opportunities in Iran during an interaction organised by the Federation of Indian Export Organisations (FIEO) and UCO Bank in Mumbai which was also attended by some senior level dignitaries from Iran and about 200 exporters.
Mentioning the strong trade and cultural ties of India and Iran, the Iranian Foreign Minister highlighted that the first-ever diplomatic mission of Iran across the world was established in Mumbai and since then the relationship has nurtured and expanded gradually.
"This is with the determination of the diplomatic leadership of both the countries to further develop relationships not only in trade but also across all the strategic fronts. As a result of which the ties between the two nations have been strong, durable and long lasting," he said according to a statement released by the FIEO.
He informed the gathering that during his meetings with Prime Minister Narendra Modi and National Security Advisor Ajit Doval on Wednesday, detailed discussions on the development of sustainable ties between two nations were held and they concluded with "certain strong and positive" agreements.
"The economies of India and Iran do not compete with each other; rather they complement each other. During the meeting with the honourable Prime Minister of India, a great emphasis on the ancient relationship of India and Iran was referred to and the trade community present today is a driving force of this relation. This trade relationship can be further endured by the Indian diaspora in Iran and vice-a-versa," he said.
Abdollahian said that Tehran is keen to address the challenges and bottlenecks faced by the trade communities in India while doing trade with Iran.
"Iran will be providing all necessary infrastructural facilities, one such effort on the infrastructural front is the Port of Chabahar. They would like to encourage the investment in this Port by the Iranian counterparts in India," the minister said.
In continuation to the present visit to develop the trade between the two countries a delegation from Iran will also be visiting India shortly
Earlier welcoming the chief guest and the exim community, Nandkishor Kagliwal, Regional Chairman, FIEO (WR) said, “There is a strong need of international political negotiations wherein sanctions on Iran may either be relaxed to some extent or an explicit interpretation of narrow exemption on Chabahar port may be rolled out by US. This will strengthen the movement of cargo through the INSTC route. An attempt should be made to explore traditional mechanisms of trade like barter trade, so as to defeat the implication of sanctions.”
FIEO President A Sakthivel said that both countries are looking for a 'Preferential Trade Agreement' with a focus on diversifying the bilateral trade basket to include manufacturing, services and light engineering items.
"The PTA will allow the two countries to cut tariffs on each other's products. India and Iran are active players in the INSTC corridor which has assumed greater importance in view of war between Russia and Ukraine. There is a need to bring Chabahar also under the INSTC so as to forge partnership with Afghanistan and Central Asian countries besides using the important route of Bandar Abbas," said Sakthivel.
He stressed that the Indian exporters are keen to use the route which reduces voyage time to Central Asia by 40% and cost by 30%. The security of the cargo throughout the route has also been highlighted as a key concern.
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