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Trade between India-Iran on an upswing

BS Regional Bureau in Mumbai | July 08, 2004 08:37 IST

The bilateral trade between India and Iran is on an upswing and for the current year it is pegged at $ 2.9 billion.

"Iran has already agreed to supply 5 million tonne of liquefied natural gas, valued at $ 4 billion, to India. Several joint ventures projects between India and Iran, worth more than $200 million, are being implemented," said Siavosh Yaghoubi, Iranian Ambassador to India.

He said that there a need to explore trade opportunities between the two countries in the areas of pharmaceuticals, engineering goods, textiles, capital goods, consumer durables, IT, fruits and mines. He was speaking at a meeting organised by the All India Association of Industries in Mumbai on Wednesday.

"In respect of the gas pipeline project, two more feasibility studies are being carried out. This will come up for discussions during the joint meeting slated for October. 2004," he said.

He added that the development of the port of Cha-Bahar complemented by the 200 km long north-south corridor linking Uzbekistan, Afghanistan, Iran and India would make access easy to south Asian countries.

"Goods will move faster cutting down transportation costs," he said. Yaghoubi said that there was good scope for bilateral trade in uranium, zinc, coper, steel and iron.

The Iranian Ambassador noted considerable headway has already been made after the signing of a bilateral agreement. The agreement was signed when the former Prime Minister, Atal Bihari Vajpayee, visited that country.

AIAI president Vijay Kalantri said: "A new trade bloc in central Asia would benefit both India and central Asian countries. Moreover, the Indian goods that are being sold to central Asian countries either through Dubai or Singapore at exorbitant prices would benefit from such a trade bloc as it would facilitate the purchase of India goods and services at affordable prices by consumers in the region."

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