Making the remarks in a conference held on free and special zones and development of economic cooperation with neighboring and Eurasian countries, Shafei said joining regional treaties and developing economic ties with neighboring countries as a gateway for seizing the golden chance.
He lamented about the applied policies by the government describing that "instead of granting incentives, the required infrastructure has to be prepared in this regard."
"Iran is among the poorest countries in terms of making preferential treaties and agreements with other countries," he noted.
After several years of negotiations, Iran and EAEU finally reached a free trade agreement (FTA) in 2018 based on which about 862 commodity items are subject to preferential tariffs.
The interim agreement enabling formation of a free trade area between Iran and the EAEU was signed on May 17, 2018 and officially came into force on October 27, 2019.
Iran is a very important market in the region and development of ties with this country is of high significance for the EAEU members (Russia, Belarus, Armenia, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan).
The free trade agreement between Iran and this union has laid the ground for the expansion of trade ties between the two sides.
Iran’s signing the agreement with the bloc has increased the country’s exports to the EAEU member states significantly, which is a turning point for the Islamic Republic to boost its export under the sanctions time.
According to the official data, Iran’s exports to EAEU countries has climbed 216 percent in value and 522 percent in weight during the first nine months of the current Iranian calendar year (March 21-December 21, 2019) from the same period of time in the past year.
As reported, the country has exported 783.2 million tons of commodities worth $454.3 million to Russia, Belarus, Armenia, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan during the mentioned nine-month period.
Iran-EAEU free trade agreement is also an opportunity for Iran to reach its goal of boosting exports to its neighbors, something that the country is seriously pursuing.
The report on Iran-EAEU nine-month trade indicates that among the EAEU members, Iran’s highest growth of trade has been with its neighbor Armenia, as the country’s export to Armenia rose 169 percent and its imports from the neighbor increased 49 percent during the mentioned period of time.
In late December, Head of Trade Promotion Organization of Iran (TPOI) Hamid Zadboum said that the country needs to implement Free Trade Agreement (PTA) with Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU).