Tehran Times | 18 September 2022
Iran eyes free trade with SCO member states
TEHRAN – Head of Iran’s Trade Promotion Organization (TPO) Alireza Peyman-Pak said that President Ebrahim Raisi has stressed the need for establishing Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) with members of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), the TPO portal reported.
Making the remarks in an interview with the national TV, Peyman-Pak pointed to the significance of removing the barriers to financial and banking exchanges with the SCO member countries, saying: “During President Raisi’s meetings with the presidents of some SCO members, the development of trade and the removal of obstacles and challenges were emphasized.”
“We have had a good experience with the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU); 80 percent of the process [for reaching an FTA with EAEU] has been completed and we will finalize technical discussions in December and the draft of the agreement will be sent to the parliament for approval,” the TPO head said.
“Since most of the Eurasian countries are also members of the Shanghai Organization, the president suggested that we pursue establishing free trade agreements in the Shanghai area as well,” Peyman-Pak added.
In the meetings that were held during the SCO summit in Uzbekistan, the presidents of the members of the pact, the monitoring members, and the partners all put forward good words in this regard, the official said.
“Regarding financial and banking issues with countries like Russia, Belarus, and Kazakhstan, we have taken good measures to use alternative routes. Also, the removal of the dollar and the euro in mutual trade will also be put on the agenda, and the parties will be offered the use of new insurance and financial facilities that our central bank has considered,” he added.
According to Peyman-Pak, another issue raised by the president was the use of transit capacities of the SCO members.
“We have the North-South Corridor and we focused on it in the last few months and developed the country’s transit capacities [through this corridor], but the workload is large and requires SCO members’ participation as well,” the official said.
Iran officially joined the SCO at the 22nd SCO summit on Friday.
The Islamic Republic’s full membership in the SCO was announced by the president of Uzbekistan. China, Russia, India, Iran, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Belarus, Turkey, Azerbaijan, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan, Mongolia, Tajikistan, and Turkmenistan attended the 22nd SCO summit.