Mehr News Agency - 18 February 2020
Iran, India finalize negotiations on preferential trade tariffs
In this meeting, as well as development of mutual trade ties, the two sides finalized talks on ratification of preferential tariffs on specific equipment needed for implementation of Iranian Chabahar Port project besides financing supply of required machinery for the project, which is located on Iran’s coast along the Gulf of Oman and is backed by India to provide an alternative trade route between India and Afghanistan.
“Monetary and banking transactions have slowed down the implementation of Chabahar project but thanks to the held talks between Indian FM and with American officials and the US waivers, we are hopeful that the required machinery and equipment will arrive in Chabahar within one or two years,” the Indian envoy Gaddam Dharmendra said.
“Due to US sanctions, we are faced with some difficulties with purchasing Iranian oil, while two of Indian refineries are constructed to refine Iranian oil,” Dharmendra said, “The two refineries are running with low profit margin, presently."
He proposed that the Indian embassy in Tehran can prepare a list of Iranian products for the Indian market to ease exchange of goods between the two countries.
Gholamhossein Shafei, the chairman of Iran’s Chamber of Commerce, Industries, Mines and Agriculture (ICCIMA), for his part, underlined that Iran and India have to do their best not to let their mutual ties be undermined by the cruel US sanctions.
He also described that one of the barriers on the way of developing bilateral commercial ties is that Indian banks demand guarantees from Iranian tradesmen. He announced readiness of Exports Guarantee Fund of Iran for issuing the required guarantees.
In May 2016, India and Iran signed a bilateral agreement under which India would refurbish one of the berths at Shahid Beheshti Port, and reconstruct a 600-metre-long container handling facility at the port.
On January 15, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif met and held talks with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New Delhi, where the two sides discussed mutual ties, trade and economic cooperation, especially in the field of energy and also collaboration in Chabahar port, as well as significant regional and international issues during their meeting.
On January 1, the Director-General of Sistan and Baluchestan Road Maintenance and Transportation Department General Ayyoub Kord said that import of basic goods via Chabahar Port registered a 238 percent growth in the nine months of the current year (March 21-Dec. 22) as compared to the last year’s corresponding period.
He went on to say that Chabahar Port enjoys high capability and potential in unloading basic goods timely, adding, “with the increasing trend of loading and unloading operation of these types of goods, suitable ways have been provided for exporting products via this port.”
On February 2, the Indian government allocated some Rs 100 crore (i.e. one billion Rupee or above $14 million) for the strategic Chabahar Port project in southeastern Iran that gives India connectivity to Afghanistan bypassing Pakistan.