Turkey, Iran prioritizes preferential trade expansion

Two countries want to enlarge number of products under deal, Turkey's energy minister says

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The finalization of the ongoing negotiations between Turkey and Iran for the expansion of the Preferential Trade Agreement is a priority for Turkey, according to Turkey's Energy and Natural Resources Minister on Wednesday.

Speaking at the 28th Turkey-Iran Joint Economic Commission via video link, Fatih Donmez said that since the agreement came into effect on Jan. 1, 2015, negotiations have been ongoing to expand the agreement by increasing the number of traded products between Turkey and Iran.

Custom cooperation was another topic up for discussion at the meeting and within this scope, both sides agreed that they want to realize electronic data interchange protocol, a simplified customs frontier project and the mutual recognition of an Authorized Economic Operator (AEOs) project.

These projects will have a positive impact on foreign trade volumes by enabling easier and faster trade while eliminating bureaucratic procedures based on mutual trust, Donmez stressed.

Both sides agreed that technical teams would meet shortly to progress on these projects.

"The sides also agreed on increasing fairs and trade delegations between Turkey and Iran to show our [Turkey’s] concrete support and the great importance attached to cooperation between private sector representatives," he said.

Support for activities of the Turkey-Iran Business Council and other private sector establishments, notably small and medium-sized enterprises, would also continue particularly after the pandemic, Donmez said.

Consequently, both sides agreed to commit to talks on developing an "action plan" between the Small and Medium Enterprises Development Organization of Turkey (KOSGEB) and its Iranian equivalent, Iran Small Industries and Industrial Parks Organization (ISIPO).

Donmez concluded that the commission also addressed other cooperation areas, including health, energy, transportation, education, environment, agriculture and forestry.