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Iran, Belarus develop roadmap to ramp up economic ties

Iranian Vice President Mohammad Mokhber (R) and Belarusian Prime Minister Roman Golovchenko are seen in this photo taken during a forum between trade delegations of the two countries in Tehran on November 22, 2022.

Iran and Belarus have developed a detailed roadmap to significantly boost their trade ties, according to Iranian trade minister Reza Fatemi Amin.

Fatemi Amin said on Wednesday that the roadmap, which will cover major export and import deals between Iran and Belarus, could be finalized in early 2023 when Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko is expected to pay an official visit to Tehran.

“A comprehensive document containing 16 articles has been devised which covers all issues (on bilateral ties) including transportation, customs, consular (issues), manufacturing, agriculture, trade and education,” said Fatemi Amin.

The announcement came after a visit by Belarusian Prime Minister Roman Golovchenko to Tehran in which the official announced that his country is seeking closer economic ties with Iran.

The two countries had exchanged eight economic and trade delegations before Golovchenko’s visit to Iran.

Belarus is a member of the EAEU, a Russia-led economic union which plans to enter into a free trade arrangement with Iran.

Iran has been in a preferential trade agreement with the EAEU since 2019. The two sides have held five rounds of free trade negotiations in recent months.

Expressing hope that a free trade deal could be reached between Iran and the EAEU in the near future, Fatemi Amin said Iran will offer a $100 million credit line in the meantime to encourage and facilitate exports from the country to Belarus.

He said Iranian exports to Belarus will cover high-tech products, especially pharmaceuticals, adding that imports from Belarus to Iran will focus on heavy machinery and equipment needed in the Iranian manufacturing and mining sectors.

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