Iran, EAEU sign free trade memorandum in Tehran

19 Jan 2023

Iran, EAEU sign free trade memorandum in Tehran

By Al Mayadeen English

January 19, 2023

The EAEU commissioner for trade says he expects that a free trade agreement between Iran and the economic union would be signed soon.


Iran and the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) signed a memorandum on free trade in Tehran, a Sputnik correspondent reported on Thursday.

Iran's Deputy Minister of Industry, Mine and Trade, Alireza Peyman-Pak, was present at the signing of the memorandum at the International Exhibition Center.

The EAEU commissioner for trade, Andrey Slepnev, said he expected that the free trade agreement between Iran and the economic union would be signed quite soon.

"We held very important negotiations to settle a number of important issues. We are confident that the agreement will be signed in the near future," Slepnev told Sputnik.

The Russian official indicated that the EAEU and Iran are seeking to scrap most tariffs and launch joint projects in such spheres as transport, industry, food production, and finance, pointing out that this will potentially create jobs in both Iran and the EAEU and advance technological innovation.

In the same context, the Iranian Foreign Ministry confirmed that Slepnev met with the Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister for Economic Diplomacy, Mehdi Safari. It cited Slepnev as saying that the trade pact would hopefully be finalized during his trip to Iran.

According to the Iranian Ministry, Safari described the potential free trade zone between Iran, Russia, Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, and Kyrgyzstan as "a turning point in the expansion of ties" and proposed creating rail, road, and maritime transport corridors between the six countries to streamline trade in industrial and agricultural goods.

It is noteworthy that Peyman-Pak highlighted during an interview with Mehr in late November 2021 that trade turnover between Iran and the EAEU reached $5 billion in 2021 from $2.3 billion in 2015, an increase of around 55%.

The Islamic Republic has been in the past few years moving forward toward expanding cooperation and ties with regional and non-regional countries in the fields of trade, politics, and security among other areas as well.

In June 2022, Iran announced that it had submitted its application for membership in the BRICS, which includes a group of five major emerging economies: Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa, which accounts for 30% of global GDP and 40% of the world's population.

During the 22nd Shanghai Cooperation Organization summit held in Uzbekistan last September, the organization announced Iran's full accession to the bloc after Tehran had previously signed a memorandum of arrangements and commitments to the organization.