1007 GMT December 07, 2021
TPO chief Alireza Payman Pak has said that the free trade deal between Iran and Syria will be finalized during a trip by Iranian trade minister to Syrian capital Damascus on November 29, Press TV reported.
Payman Pak said on Monday Iran will also implement a free trade deal with Pakistan as well as two preferential trade agreements with Indonesia and Venezuela in the near future.
The announcement is a fresh sign Iran is intent on expanding its non-crude exports to offset losses suffered on crude sales in recent years mainly because of US sanctions.
Exports to Syria currently account for a small portion of Iran’s total exports although authorities have repeatedly said that they have plans to increase the shipments.
Among the plans is setting up a direct shipping line between Iran’s southern port of Bandar Abbas and Syria’s Mediterranean port of Latakia.
Iranian exports to Syria fell massively in 2010 when a terrorist-led war erupted in the Arab country.
Estimates by the TPO show that exports to Syria could reach over $300 million in the calendar year to March.
Trade between Iran and Syria is expected to hit a target of $1.5 billion in 2023 amid growing economic and political ties between the two countries.
Iran has been a major contributor to Syria’s reconstruction efforts in recent years as the country struggles to emerge from the ruins of a war that devastated its economic infrastructure.
Massive export capacity
Payman Pak also said that Iran enjoys high potentials to export $100 billion worth of non-oil products to neighboring states.
“We have divided export target markets into first and second priorities. The first priority is 23 countries including neighboring countries of China, India, Russia, Kenya, Malaysia, etc., while the second priority includes the remaining countries,” Mehr News Agency quoted TPO head as saying.
The TPO chief further expressed hope to double non-oil exports in the next four years through proper diplomacy and improving the country's exports balance.
Elsewhere in his remarks, he pointed to the constructive role of Iran's Cooperatives Chamber in promoting of exports of products, saying the chamber plays a very important role in supporting Small- and Medium-Sized Enterprises (SMEs) and can help traders and merchants export their products overseas optimally.
Turning to the Preferential Trade Agreement (PTA) with Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU), he said that Iran is able to export $10 billion worth of products to EAEU member states when the PTA is implemented.