Tehran Times | 5 July 2022
Iran, EAEU continue negotiations on free trade agreement
TEHRAN - Iran and the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) representatives have gathered in Tehran for the fifth round of negotiations on upgrading the current preferential trade agreement between the two sides into a free trade agreement, the portal of Iran’s Trade Promotion Organization (TPO) reported.
The talks started on Monday with the presence of a Eurasian delegation comprised of representatives of the union’s member states and the Eurasian Economic Commission, as well as TPO Head Alireza Peyman-Pak and representatives of various Iranian ministries and agencies.
The negotiations on turning the preferential trade agreement into a free trade agreement began about 1.5 years ago and are expected to conclude before the end of the current year.
The purpose of these negotiations is to determine the commodity items that should be included in the agreement.
If the free trade agreement is implemented, 80 percent of the goods traded between the two sides will be exchanged with zero tariffs.
This round of negotiations will continue until Wednesday; Both sides hope to finalize the draft of the agreement and prepare the list of commodity items for signing.
Back in April, TPO dispatched a team of negotiators to Russia to hold talks with representatives of the five Eurasian Economic Union member states on the free trade agreement.
Mir-Hadi Seyedi, TPO’s advisor in international affairs, had said in late April that the draft of the agreement had been mainly finalized and there are few cases left that need further consideration by both parties.
Seyedi noted that negotiations between the two sides would continue in the coming months until the free trade agreement is signed between the two sides before the end of 2022.
Iran and EAEU reached a preferential trade agreement in 2018 based on which about 862 commodity items are currently subject to preferential tariffs.
The agreement, which came into effect on October 27, 2019, will be in effect for three years, so it is going to expire in October this year.
The value of trade between Iran and the EAEU members reached $5.643 billion during the previous Iranian calendar year (ended on March 20), registering a 66-percent rise compared to the figure for the preceding year.
According to Spokesman of the Islamic Republic of Iran Customs Administration (IRICA) Ruhollah Latifi, the weight of Iran-EAEU trade in the mentioned year stood at over 13.127 million tons which was also 51 percent more than the previous year.
Iran exported 2.77 million tons of commodities worth over $1.170 billion to the mentioned union to register a 3.5 percent increase in terms of weight and 12 percent growth in terms of value.