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Iran starts free trade talks with EAEU in Armenia

An Iranian trade delegation starts talks with the EAEU in Yerevan to reach a deal on free trade.

Iran and the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) have started three-day talks in the Armenian capital to discuss a potential free trade deal between the two sides, the official IRNA news agency has reported.

The Monday report said that a delegation led by officials from the Trade Promotion Organization (TPO) of Iran had started talks with EAEU representatives in Yerevan to see how the two sides can go beyond a preferential trade agreement that was signed two years ago.

It said all five members of the EAEU, namely Russia, Armenia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Belarus, are represented in the talks with the Iranian delegation which includes officials from the Iranian government and high-profile figures from the country’s private sector.

TPO’s head of international and trade contracts affairs Mir Hadi Seyyedi said that Iran and the EAEU had previously held seven rounds of virtual meetings to discuss the potential free trade deal.

“It is expected that an agreement can be reached in Yerevan meeting on many unresolved issues,” said Seyyedi, adding that the two sides will meet again in Tehran on December 6 to discuss tariff issues.

He said that the two sides have reached an initial agreement to extend free trade arrangements to 80 percent of goods covered in the preferential trade deal signed in November 2019.

Figures published by the Iranian customs administration (IRICA) in July showed that trade with the EAEU had accounted for some 4.6% of Iran’s total trade in the year to late March.

Trade with Russia, which reached nearly $2.61 billion in value terms, had accounted for 77% of Iran’s exchanges with the economic bloc over the same period, according to the same IRICA figures.

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