EEU explores the prospects of establishing a free trade zone with Iran

Moscow. December 23. The countries of the Eurasian economic Union (EEU) together with Iran to launch a joint study of the prospects of concluding an agreement on free trade. It was announced in Tehran by the Minister for trade of the EEC Andrey Slepnev and Minister of industry, mines and trade of Iran, Reza Mohamad Nematzadeh, said in a press release of the Eurasian economic Commission (the EEC is a supranational body to regulate EEU).

“Set up a joint study group will identify opportunities to maximise economic benefits from the agreement, to give specific proposals on its possible format, the framework of the obligations of the parties and the depth of binding in specific areas”, – stated in the message.

“Iran for us is a strategic partner. The anticipated lifting of international sanctions will create the preconditions for the formation in Iran of a new point of regional economic growth, and the reintegration of the Islamic Republic in the global economy will allow to increase cooperation in the framework of the “big Eurasia”. In particular, will create additional prerequisites for the creation of transport corridors in the directions of India, Pakistan, Iraq and formation of the Eurasian transport space “North-South”, – said Slepnev, quoted by the press service.

The task has been created a joint working group to provide concrete proposals on the withdrawal of trade and economic relations between Iran and the EEU countries to a new level to offer a format for agreements, which will allow you to fully realize the potential of joint economic development. To do this, experts need to analyze in detail the specifics of doing business and mutual trade.

The Eurasian economic Union and Iran will not only further increase bilateral trade, diversify areas of economic cooperation.

For January-October 2015 the export of goods from the countries of the EEU in Iran exceeded $1.4 billion and imports us $445 million for the countries of the Eurasian Union supply to Iran of agricultural commodities: wheat, barley, corn, vegetable oil. Supply of manufactured goods: steel products & trucks, timber, paper, synthetic fiber; also comes electricity. Imports from Iran are mainly composed of vegetables, fruits, cement and petroleum products. “It is clear that exports and imports may be more diversified, and the range of goods and services is much wider,” – said Slepnev.

Total turnover of trade in services in 2014 between the EEC and Iran amounted to approximately $700 million.

During the meeting, the Ministers also noted that the joint working group itself will have a significant contribution to the development of relations between the EEU and Iran. The decision to create with Iran a joint research group was adopted by the EEC Council on August 21.

The work of the joint study group (SIG) is a preparatory stage for negotiations on establishing a free trade area, during which experts examine the economic structure of countries and the parameters of foreign and mutual trade, looking for areas of mutual concern. According to the results of its work, the SIG is a detailed report containing conclusions about the feasibility of negotiating an FTA. On the basis of this report, the presidents of the EEU member countries make the decision whether to initiate the actual negotiations.