Iran Eyes Expanding Trade Cooperation with East Europe: Deputy FM

TEHRAN (Tasnim) – Iran is planning to increase its trade relations with countries in Eastern Europe as a senior foreign ministry official said Tehran wants to capitalize on increase in agricultural exchanges and barter trade with countries in the region.

Iran’s Deputy Foreign Minister for Economic Diplomacy Affairs Mehdi Safari said on Sunday that annual trade with eastern European countries is expected to significantly increase from $1 billion recorded over the calendar year to late March.

“The level of trade ties with certain countries of the region has increased by 300% to 350% compared to the same period last year,” Safari told on the sidelines of a forum on trade between Iran and Eastern European countries in Tehran.

The official said Iran is planning to expand the existing barter arrangements with Eastern European countries, adding that businesses can count on banking ties with certain countries of the region at a time US sanctions have restricted Iran’s access to international monetary system.

Safari stated that Iran also relies on Eastern Europe for imports of certain equipment and machinery while the country is also trying to secure contracts for the transfer of technology and technicla know-how for those products, Press TV reported.

He said that countries like Bulgaria and Romania provide major routes for the transit of Iranian export commodities to the heart of Europe, adding that Iran is intensively negotiating for agreements that can allow easier visa access for Iranian truck drivers traveling on those routes.

Iran has relied on non-oil trade as a major source of earning hard currency in recent years as the country seeks to offset the impacts of US sanctions on its crude oil exports.

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