Iran’s new government explores alternative banking mechanism to trade with India

FPJ BureauUpdated: Monday, June 13, 2022, 08:01 AM IST
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“India and Iran have centuries old trade relationship. To take this relation forward, I had fruitful discussion with Senior Ministers of Indian government to delineate long term cooperation roadmap. The Deputy to the first Vice President of Iran is travelling with me to India to give shape to this roadmap. Both the sides discussed the possibility of rupee-rial trade and agreed on a conducive legal mechanism to promote two-way commerce. Iran is exploring an alternative banking mechanism, within the framework of the international law, to promote two-way trade with India. I had a fruitful discussion with Senior Ministers of Indian government to establish such a banking mechanism,” said Dr. Hossein Amirabdollahian, Hon. Foreign Minister of the Islamic Republic of Iran at an interactive meeting in Mumbai. The meeting was organised by World Trade Center Mumbai and All India Association of Industries (AIAI).

Minister pointed out that under the progressive leadership of Iran’s President and Indian Prime Minister, our bilateral relations will only move forward and not backward. Iran, which has signed a 25- year long strategic agreement with China, is also exploring long lasting strategic partnership with India.

Speaking about his meeting with senior ministers of Government of India on June 8, 2022, Dr. Amirabdollahian informed that he discussed partnership on economy, culture, tourism, science & technology.

Minister also informed that half of Chabahar Port has already started functioning because of investment support from India and we expect further investment from India to precipitate going forward. In addition to Chabahar Port, Iran has also activated North South and East West Transit Corridors to support trade with other countries.

Dr. Amirabdollahian invited Indian companies to explore trade and investment opportunities in Iran by assuring that the new government will provide conducive business environment to protect their commercial interest.

In his remarks, Fattah Ahmadi, Deputy Minister of Judiciary, Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran informed that Iran is clear in its intention to support trade and investment ties with India by signing an agreement on mutual legal assistance in civil and commercial matters.

Earlier in his welcome remarks, Dr. Vijay Kalantri, Chairman, MVIRDC World Trade Center Mumbai and President, All India Association of Industries (AIAI) pointed out, “WTC Mumbai and AIAI have been supporting trade with Iran for the last 20 years. Currently, two-way trade with Iran is hardly USD 2 billion; but there is untapped potential to raise it to as much as USD 50 billion if both the countries launch rupee-rial trade or barter trade. By launching rupee-rial trade, we can reduce transaction cost and increase volume of trade. WTC Mumbai is signing an agreement with Government of Iran to promote cooperation in agriculture, irrigation, artificial intelligence, Information Technology, green energy, start-up enterprises, waste water management and other sustainable development areas.”

Dr. Kalantri suggested the Minister to explore preferential trade agreement to provide fillip to bilateral trade and investment. Dr. Kalantri also called for promoting two-way investment in steel, oil & gas, pharmaceuticals and other sectors of mutual importance.

He pointed out that both the countries can explore trade in pharmaceuticals, education, IT, engineering textile, machinery and new age sectors such as green energy, hydrogen and sustainable development.

Finally, Dr. Kalantri called for forming a working group with the Ambassador and trade mission of Iran in India to address challenges in two-way trade.

Speaking on this occasion, Seyed Rasoul Mousavi, Assistant Minister for West Asia, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran informed that Iran is exploring long term strategic partnership with India to strengthen our centuries old relationship.

The meeting was also addressed by Dr. Ali, Chegeni, Ambassador, Embassy of the Islamic Republic of Iran and Abolfazl Mohammad Alikhani, Consul General, Consulate General of the Islamic Republic of Iran in Mumbai.

The event was attended by members of trade & industry, academia, financial institutions and media.

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