India, Iran call for secure payment system, lowering tariffs to boost trade

Richa Mishra New Delhi | Updated on March 12, 2018

The traders of India and Iran have called for a secure payment mechanism and lowering tariffs to boost trade.

At an industry meeting hosted by The Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India here on Tuesday, both sides sought easing of procedures to set up banks in each other’s country for evolving a secure payment mechanism.

Mr Yahya Al-Eshagh, president of the Tehran Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Mines, said the two countries can significantly increase annual two-way trade totalling $ 14 billion.

“With a liberal business visa regime, more direct flights, trade fairs and exhibitions, the bilateral trade can be increased by at least $ 10 billion in the near future,” he said.

Iran is a major source of energy and is keen to invite Indian investments in road construction and railway networks. Among the key sectors where Indian companies can focus in Iran are medical equipment, information technology, automobiles, textiles and readymade garments.

Mr Eshagh, leading a 56-member high-powered business delegation, said Iran is developing a North-South Corridor which can become a good ground for trade cooperation with Indian companies.

Mr Arvind Mehta, Joint Secretary at the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, said nearly one-third of India’s exports are from special economic zones. Iranian companies can set up manufacturing bases here and export their products to various countries.

India and Iran are identifying tariff lines under the preferential trading arrangement which need to be lowered. This will increase trade and investments in both countries, said Mr Mehta.

Mr Anil Agarwal, chairman of ASSOCHAM national council on international affairs, said the long-standing payment problem with Iran has been resolved and there is a need to focus on boosting exports – especially of agricultural commodities like wheat, rice and sugar.

Iran was India's second-biggest crude oil supplier after Saudi Arabia, meeting about 12 per cent of the country's needs. But the position has been taken over by Iraq. Indian refiners imported 171.41 million tonnes of crude oil in 2011-12 of which 32.63 million tonnes came from Saudi Arabia, 24.51 million tonnes from Iraq, 17.67 million tonnes from Kuwait and 15.79 million tonnes from the UAE.

Published on May 08, 2012

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