Iran, Turkey eye $30b in annual trade

TEHRAN – Tehran and Ankara set a target of $30 billion for annual trade at the 24th meeting of Iran-Turkey Joint Economic Committee, which opened in Tehran on Tuesday.

Iranian Minister of Communications and Information Technology Mahmoud Va’ezi and Turkish Minister of Development Cevdet Yilmaz co-chaired the meeting, IRNA reported.

Yilmaz is leading a delegation of 100 Turkish traders and businessmen.

During the three-day event, the two sides will discuss bilateral ties in the fields of transportation, customs trade, industry, energy, agriculture, environment as well as joint investment and cooperation between private sectors.

Addressing the meeting, Va’ezi stated that proper measures were taken during Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s trip to Tehran in January. He said it opened a new chapter in Iran-Turkey relations.

For his part, the Turkish minister said the value of bilateral trade was about $1 billion in 2002, but the figure reached $14 billion in 2013, according to the Mehr News Agency.

Iran is the 10th largest importer of goods from Turkey and the 6th largest exporter of goods to the country, he explained.

Iran and Turkey have signed a preferential trade agreement which could pave the way for a hike in the bilateral trade. The agreement was signed during Erdogan’s visit to Iran in January. At the time, Erdogan said the goal is to boost trade between the two neighbors to $30 billion by 2015.

In December 2013, the Ankara ambassador to Tehran said Iran and Turkey have set a long-term target of $100 billion for annual trade transactions.

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