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ICCIMA Calls for Implementing Free Trade Agreement With Serbia


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Hossein Selahvarzi made the remarks in a meeting with Jagoda Lazarevic, the acting Assistant Minister for Economic Diplomacy at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Serbia, in Tehran, the ICCIMA portal reported on Friday.

“Signing a free trade agreement between Iran and Serbia can remove one of the important obstacles in the trade exchanges between the two countries that is high tariffs,” Selahvarzi said at the meeting.

“The level of trade relations between Iran and Serbia is not proportional to the level of political relations between the two countries, and we must make more efforts to increase trade exchanges,” he noted, adding that: “In addition to obstacles in financial exchanges, the issue of tariffs is also a serious obstacle in the exchanges between the two countries.”

The ICCIMA head expressed his hope that considering the successful experience of Serbia in implementing free trade agreements with Turkey, Eurasia, and Europe, such an agreement will also be signed and implemented with Iran in the near future.

The official further stressed that the ICCIMA is seriously pursuing direct communication with the Serbian Chamber of Commerce, saying: “There are various fields for cooperation between the private sectors of the two countries, which should not be missed.”

Welcoming Selahvarzi’s suggestions, Lazarevic for her part stated that the government of Serbia uses diplomatic tools to expand trade with Iran.

“Since the political relations between Iran and Serbia are in the best conditions, a good opportunity has been provided for economic agreements, and the chambers of commerce of the two countries play an important role in this regard,” she said.

Referring to the great interest of Serbian companies in investing in Iran, she continued: “By establishing close relations between all governmental bodies and the private sectors of Iran and Serbia, we will surely achieve good results in increasing the level of trade exchanges.”

In mid-August, ICCIMA hosted a gathering of Iran and Serbia’s private sector representatives in which the two sides explored trade opportunities between the two countries.

The meeting was attended by the acting Head of the ICCIMA International Affairs Department Niloufar Asadi, and Ambassador of the Republic of Serbia to the Islamic Republic of Iran Dragan Todorovic.

Speaking at the meeting, Asadi pointed out that one of the most important problems for Iranian businessmen in the Serbian market is the country’s high customs tariffs for Iranians.

She expressed hope that the negotiations between the governments of Iran and Serbia for a free trade agreement will come to a conclusion and the mentioned problems will be resolved.

“Iranian private sector wants to follow up on the signing and implementation of the free trade agreement between the two countries, and the ICCIMA, on behalf of the private sector, wants to participate in these negotiations,” she stressed.

Asadi further noted that the ICCIMA is trying to provide the opportunity for the businessmen of the two countries to become more familiar with each other through holding conferences and exchanging delegations.

“The fields of tourism, especially health tourism and sports tourism, and also the agriculture sector are potential areas for cooperation between the two countries. Considering the lack of water in Iran and our desire for trans-territorial cultivation, Serbia has a very good potential for cooperation in this sector,” she said.

Emphasizing that monetary and banking issues are also among the main obstacles to Iran-Serbia trade cooperation, she said: “We ask the embassies and related institutions of the two countries to take the necessary measures to facilitate banking transactions between the two sides.”

“Barter trade can replace the monetary exchange between the two countries. Also, bilateral monetary agreements can facilitate this path,” the official added.

According to Asadi, Iran, and Serbia can develop their relations through joint investment, implementation of joint projects, production of joint products, and export to Europe or West Asia.

Referring to the good political relations between the two countries, Todorovic said: “In the past month, three important Serbian political delegations came to Iran and there is a lot of potential for cooperation.”

Todorovic also announced that the 16th joint economic committee meeting of the two countries will be held in Tehran at the end of October.

Source: Tehran Times


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