Talking on the sidelines of a meeting with Abbas Rezaei, the governor general of Isfahan Province, the visiting minister said according to the great potentials of Iran, we must work to develop the economic relations between the two countries, IRNA reported.
Both Iran and Armenia have been friends for a long time but, unfortunately, now the level of our economic relations does not match the friendly relations, said Kerobyan.
He added, “Considering that I have been working in the field of business and commerce for many years, I traveled to Iran not only to promote and develop mutual trade, but also to implement the project of joint production.”
We have to take a lot of executive steps, said the minister, adding that we intend to export not only to the Eurasian market but also to other countries.
Iran and Armenia signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on Saturday for the expansion of trade ties between the two countries.
The MoU was signed by Iranian Industry, Mine and Trade Minister Alireza Razm-Hosseini and Kerobyan in Tehran.
Heading a trade delegation, Kerobyan arrived in Tehran on Friday to discuss the expansion of trade relations between the two countries.
Speaking on the sidelines of the signing ceremony, Razm-Hosseini put Iran’s exports to Armenia at about $300 million, noting that the signing of this MoU will be a great step towards improving the level of trade between the two neighbors.
Pointing to Armenia’s position as a member of the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU), with which Iran has recently signed a preferential trade agreement, Razm-Hosseini said Iran is seeking to become a permanent member of the EAEU, and Armenia could be of significant help in this regard.
According to the Iranian minister, areas like the mining industry, foodstuffs and home appliances could be good opportunities for the two countries to develop mutual cooperation.
Kerobyan, for his part, expressed his government’s readiness for cooperation to boost mutual trade and produce joint products and to pave the way for Iran to enter the markets of third countries.
“We are ready to support Iranian traders to use Armenia for entering third countries,” he said.
Focusing on trade with neighbors
The Armenian minister also met with Governor of the Central Bank of Iran (CBI) Abdolnaser Hemmati and discussed banking issues and ways of increasing the level of trade between the two sides.
In this meeting, Hemmati noted that Iran is currently focusing on enhancing its trade ties with neighboring countries.
The official pointed to Armenia’s significant geographical position and noted that the country can have a tremendous impact on the development of trade relations between the two countries and also between Iran and the EAEU as a whole.
“Iran’s economic situation is improving despite pressures imposed by US sanctions, and we have been able to achieve positive economic growth this year,” Hemmati said.
He noted that we hope that by holding similar meetings, we will be able to further strengthen mutual relations and witness the development of economic relations.
Hemmati pointed to the ineffectiveness of the US sanctions in disrupting Iran’s trade ties with its major partners, saying, “We believe that the sanctions are not viable; Iran’s trade relations with some countries are currently resuming, and it is a good time for Armenia, as a friend and neighbor, to expand its relations with Iran.”
He finally stressed the importance of resolving the banking issues of the two countries and proposed to travel to Yerevan to pursue specialized banking issues and financial exchanges with the governor of the Central Bank of Armenia.
Kerobyan also called for the development of trade and economic relations between the two nations, especially in the fields of investment and production.
During his five-day visit to Iran, Kerobyan will visit some of the major Iranian production centers.