EAEU, Iran sign provisional free trade zone agreement

The  Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) has signed a 3-year provisional agreement with Iran to welcome the Islamic Republic into the bloc’s free-trade zone, TASS reports.
“The temporary agreement stipulates an effective dispute settlement mechanism, including arbitration… It also creates a joint committee of high-ranking officials and establishes a business dialogue,” the chair of EEU economic commission board, Tigran Sargsyan, said at the ceremony in Astana, Kazakhstan on Thursday.

“The current agreement includes an initial list of goods with lowered or cancelled customs fees upon its enforcement. The agreement covers half of mutual trade,” he said, adding that in 2017 trade between the EAEU and Iran reached 2.7 billion US dollars.

“Average import duties for industrial goods will go down by seven percentage points for Iran, and by 3.5 points for the EAEU countries. Import duties for farming products will be down by 19 points for Iran and by five points for the EAEU,” Sargsyan said, adding that a full-fledged agreement may be signed in three years.

The newly-signed provisional agreement on a free trade zone between the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) and Iran will provide new opportunities for Armenia to step up trade with the neighboring country and develop new production capacities, Armenian Deputy Prime Minister Tigran Avinyan said Thursday, Sputnik reported.

“Convinced that the agreement will open up new opportunities for Armenian goods to expand into the Iranian market, and also create favorable conditions for developing new production capacities in Armenia,” Avinyan wrote on Facebook.

The official noted that the agreement had been signed following lengthy and difficult talks, stressing a considerable role of the Armenian side during the entire negotiation process.

Speaking to reporters after the Government sitting, Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan said he hopes the signing of the agreement will help intensify Armenia’s trade relations with Iran. He assured that all Armenian interests have been taken into account in the agreement.

The arrangement is the first step in implementing free trade between Iran and the five members of the union, which includes Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, and Russia.

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