Iran And Georgia Aim to Spur Bilateral Trade

First Vice Prime Minister of Georgia, Minister of Economy and Sustainable Development, Dimitry Kumsishvili, visited the Islamic Republic of Iran to discuss a variety of economic issues, including bilateral economic relations.

The office of the ministry put out a statement outlining the different aspects discussed at the meeting as Kumsishvili met with numerous high-ranked officials of the Iranian state.

“Within the frames of the visit, Dimitry Kumsishvili had meetings with the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Iran, Mohammad Javad Zarif, the Minister of Economic Affairs and Finance, Masood Karbassian, the Minister of Roads and Urban Development, Abbas Ahmad Akhoundi, and the Minister of Petroleum of Iran, Bijan Namdar Zangeneh,” the ministry noted.

Both countries engaged in a clear vision to spur the trade and economic relations between Tbilisi and Tehran, hence the one-on-one meetings with Iranian decision makers responsible for infrastructure, economics, oil, and finance.

In addition, the administrations of both states have already decided to meet again for further cooperation talks in the second half of 2018, as Iran will host the Intergovernmental Commission on Bilateral Economic Cooperation.

“At the meeting with the Minister of Economic Affairs and Finance, Masood Karbassian, bilateral trade between the two countries was given a positive evaluation. According to the statistics of 2017, the trade turnover between Georgia and Iran equaled $181 million, which is 38% higher compared to the previous year, while the exports amounted to $76 million, which is 64% higher compared to the previous year. The positive dynamic of growth is maintained in the first quarter of 2018 – the trade turnover and the export amount increased by 34% and 28%, respectively,” the ministry reports.

Officials emphasized that the positive figures do not underscore the full potential of their trade relations, as many trade barriers are still in place and many opportunities still need to be transformed into meaningful trade relations.

“The Georgian side pointed out that Georgia could provide the Iranian market products that Iran imports from different markets around the world. Such products include mineral waters, juices and canned fruits and vegetables, tea, non-alcoholic beverages and textile,” the ministry noted.

Another important issue discussed was the setting up of transport corridors, such as a railway connecting Tbilisi and Tehran via Baku, Azerbaijan.

“At the meeting with the Minister of Roads and Urban Development, Abbas Ahmad Akhoundi, it was noted that a special position had been created at the Ministry to supervise the development of the transport corridors. The Iranian Minister also offered to the Georgian side the chance to establish and develop special logistics centers in the Iranian ports of the Persian Gulf as well as the Caspian Sea. Additionally, both parties stated that they would promote general trade to increase the overall turnover between Iran, Georgia, and the Black Sea region,” the ministry concluded.

By Benjamin Music

10 May 2018 08:49