The official made the remarks in a meeting with ICCIMA Deputy Head for International Affairs Mohammad-Reza Karbasi in Tehran on Tuesday.
In the meeting the two sides discussed ways of expanding trade ties between the two countries, and called for taking necessary measures for removing barriers in the way of the two nations’ economic relations.
Speaking in the event, Karbasi mentioned Philippines’ significant role in Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and Iran’s active presence among Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO) members saying that “Despite the two countries’ willingness for expanding trade, the two sides’ trade turnover is limited to only $200 million, and this figure could increase drastically in near future.”
He pointed to banking problems as one of the major obstacles to the development of trade relations between the two countries and said banking barriers can be overcome by creating mechanisms such as bartering of goods, so that the two countries' exports and imports could be balanced this way.
The official further noted that exchanging trade delegations between the two countries could be another way to increase the volume of trade exchange, adding that “The presence of Philippine’s trade delegations in Iran can help boost bilateral trade.”
Santos for his part, expressed his country’s willingness for expansion of ties with Iran in various areas including agriculture, engineering services, mining and tourism, saying that “Unfortunately because of the U.S. sanctions the volume of trade between the two countries has decreased significantly, however we hope to change the situation for the better.”
“We are looking for developing infrastructures such as ports, dams, roads, airports, etc. and we know that Iran has a lot of experience and potential in these fields, so we are ready to cooperate in these areas,” he added.