Iran, Kazakhstan Target $1b of Agricultural Trade

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During their visit to Kazakhstan, the Iranian delegation attended two specialized business meetings for the introduction of new business and joint investment opportunities in Almaty and Astana, Mehr News Agency reported.

In the mentioned meetings, the two sides discussed the requirements for facilitating joint agriculture cooperation between the two countries.

Peyman-Pak also met and held talks with Kazakh officials including the country’s deputy prime minister, the minister of trade, the minister of agriculture, and the governor of Almaty, in which he introduced new opportunities for cooperation in various fields like exporting fruits, and vegetables, dairy, and aquatic products, as well as providing Iran’s needs for wheat and meat directly from Kazakhstan.

Solving the challenges faced by the two countries in the field of veterinary medicine, logistics, financial and banking relations as well as the guarantees related to commercial contracts centered on agricultural products and animal husbandry were also among the focal points of negotiations between Peyman-Pak and the Kazakh authorities.

The value of Iran’s non-oil export to Kazakhstan increased by 67 percent in the first month of the current Iranian calendar year (March 21-April 20), as compared to the first month of the past year, the spokesman of Trade Development Committee of the Iranian House of Industry, Mining, and Trade has announced.

Ruhollah Latifi said that Kazakhstan imported non-oil commodities worth $12.5 million from Iran in the first month of this year.

As previously reported, the value of Iran’s export to Kazakhstan increased by 27 percent in the past Iranian calendar year 1401 (ended on March 20).

Iran exported commodities worth $210 million to Kazakhstan, and imported goods valued at $318 million from the country in the previous year.

The value of Iran-Kazakhstan annual trade also rose 20 percent in the past year.

During a meeting between the former Head of Iran Chamber of Commerce, Industries, Mines, and Agriculture (ICCIMA) Gholam-Hossein Shafeie and Kazakhstan’s Deputy Minister of Trade and Integration Kairat Torebayev, in late April, the two sides discussed the ways for the expansion of trade ties between the two countries.

In the meeting held at the place of ICCIMA, Shafeie emphasized the special position of Kazakhstan as a trade partner for Iran and said the presence of the two countries in the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) and the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) pacts has opened new doors for the development of economic relations, and the private sectors of the two countries should take advantage of this opportunity.

Emphasizing that paying attention to rail, road and sea transportation infrastructure should be a priority of the two countries, the ICCIMA head stated: “The most important problem in the way of improving the level of trade cooperation between Iran and Kazakhstan is the issue of transportation. Solving this issue requires the will of the authorities of the two countries. The future of transit between the two countries can be bright due to Kazakhstan’s connection to China and Iran’s access to the open waters of Southeast Asia, provided that the infrastructure for exploiting this opportunity is available.”

The Kazakh official for his part emphasized that his country is seeking to improve business relations with Iran as much as possible and said: “Iran is our main way to communicate with Turkey and West Asia. So far, we have had 20 million dollars in financial transactions, and the aim of these meetings is to increase this amount to 60 million dollars.”

“Our economies have a good overlap. We are looking for further development of relations between the two countries, especially in the field of vegetables, fruits and fisheries”, he added.

Back in last November, Iran and Kazakhstan inked a memorandum of understanding (MOU) on the expansion of cooperation in the agriculture and trade fields as well as industries, logistics, transportation and technology transfer in Tehran.

The MOU was signed by Javad Sadati-Nejad, the former Iranian agriculture minister, and Zhumangarin Serik, the deputy prime minister and minister of trade and integration of Kazakhstan, who visited Tehran on top of a Kazakh delegation.

As reported, the effort of the two countries in order to increase the value of bilateral trade to about one billion dollars, based on the agreements of the presidents of the two countries, is considered in the MOU.

During a meeting between Kazakhstan Prime Minister Alikhan Ashanuly Smaiylov and Iran’s First Vice President Mohammad Mokhber on the sidelines of the Second Caspian Economic Forum in Moscow in October 2022, the Kazakh side emphasized the importance of improving the level of cooperation between Tehran and Astana in the oil swap, as well as industry, agriculture, scientific and cultural sectors.

Mokhber, for his part, said that the level of trade between Iran and Kazakhstan can quickly reach three billion dollars, considering the existing capacities of the two countries.

The Kazakh prime minister welcomed the proposal of Iran’s first vice president and stated that the necessary fields and capacities of the two countries are ready to raise the level of trade exchanges between Iran and Kazakhstan and reach three billion dollars a year.

Mokhber then announced Iran’s readiness to send mining companies to Kazakhstan and added: “Tehran is ready to cooperate with Astana in port, dam construction, hydropower plant construction, knowledge-based and technical and engineering services.”

Also, during an Iran-Kazakhstan business forum hosted by the ICCIMA in Tehran in mid-October last year, the two sides stressed the need for removing visa issuance and transportation obstacles, to realize a $6 billion annual trade target.

The business forum was attended by senior officials from both sides including Shafeie, Torebayev, Kazakh Ambassador to Tehran Askhat Orazbay, and ICCIMA Deputy Head Mohammadreza Karbasi, as well as the head of Iranian chambers of commerce and businessmen from the two sides.

The members of the Iran-Kazakhstan Joint Chamber of Commerce, representatives of the Islamic Republic of Iran Railways (RAI), the Trade Promotion Organization (TPO), and the Agriculture Ministry were also present at the event.

Source: Tehran Times