Executive Chief of IRI Customs Organization evaluating current Iran-Turkey trade volume as satisfactory argued here Monday achieving US $30 billion volume is not a remote possibility.
Abbas Me’marnezhad added at a meeting with his Turkish counterpart in Oroumiyeh, “Out prediction is that the volume of the two countries’ trade by the end of the (Iranian) year (ending on March 20th, 2012) would be around 12 billion dollars, but in order to reach the 30 billion dollars both sides must spend greater efforts.”
He emphasized the need for facilitating the frequenting of goods and passengers between the two countries, adding, “This would increase the possibility of further expanding bilateral trade.”
Me’marnezhad said that solving the existing problems at share customs organizations of Iran and Turkey is one of the strategies for increasing the volume of business transactions, reiterating, “All three shared customs facilities between Iran and Turkey are active today and the agreement for establishment of another one has been signed, which would be officially reopened in near future.”
Pointing out that Iran and Turkey have signed various memoranda of understanding, he added, “The required cradles for the expansion of relations are ready in Iran.”
Me’marnrzhad said, “In the texts of the signed MOUs it was planned to construct joint gates at all three active customs, but the contents of that memorandum are not proceeding well and its implementation must be pursued more seriously.”
He added, “The lack of harmony between the working hours of the two sides, being cut off of the internet terminals of Gurbolaq Customs opposite to Iran’s Bazargan Customs, and the long delays imposed to the pilgrims of the holy shrines are among the problematic border issues which can be solved.”
In the meeting the deputy Secretary General of the Turkish Customs Organization Alto Yilmiz, too, referring to the deep and historic roots of Iran’s relations with Turkey said, “The fact that both countries are located enroot ancient Silk Road leads to both sides; efforts aimed at well being of the two nations, as well as cooperation for regional safeguarding peace and stability.”
Yilmiz emphasized the need to taking advantage of the two countries’ potentials and facilities aimed at expanding the dimensions of cooperation, adding, “There is no obstacle in the way of expanding cooperation and we can through broadening the business transactions bring about well being, peace and stability for the border residents of both sides.”
He meanwhile said that the reopening of the Razi-Kapikoy Border was among the good opportunities for great cooperation provided during the year 2011, adding, “By the end of the current Christian year the volume of the two countries’ trade would reach 15 billion US dollars and relying on the future opportunities this increasing trend could be further increased on a continual basis.”
The Consultant Turkish Customs Chief arrived in Iran’s Oroumiyeh on Monday atop a technicians’ delegation for meeting the Iranian customs officials and surveying the joint customs difficulties.
In a move to strengthen bilateral relations, Tehran and Ankara have opened a new border crossing between Iran's West Azarbaijan Province and Turkey's Van Province.
The Kapikoy-Razi border crossing was opened in a ceremony attended by Iranian Foreign Minister Ali-Akbar Salehi and his Turkish counterpart Ahmet Davutoglu on Saturday, April 16th.
“We hope that by opening the Kapikoy-Razi border we could achieve the USD 30-billion target in trade transactions between the two countries,” ISNA quoted Salehi as saying during the ceremony.
Salehi described the future of Tehran and Ankara as “bright,' adding that the presidents of Iran and Turkey are determined to strengthen bilateral relations.
Davutoglu said trade volume between Turkey and Iran has exceeded USD 10 billion.
During a meeting in February, the Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and his Turkish counterpart Abdullah Gul said Tehran and Ankara were determined to increase the value of annual trade ties with Turkey to USD 30 billion.
Following the ceremony, the two foreign ministers attended the trilateral meeting of Iran, Turkey and Azerbaijan which was held in the Iranian city of Oroumiyeh on Saturday.