A free trade agreement signed between Iran and Syria back in 2010 is going to be implemented soon, after years of postponement, Farzad Piltan, the director-general of Iran’s Trade Promotion Organization (TPO)’s Office of Arabian and African Countries announced.
“The free trade agreement with Syria was signed in in March 2010, but was inactive for some reason, and its implementation is expected to resume soon,” Piltan said. The two countries signed the free trade agreement in a bid to boost bilateral trade, especially in industry, mining, and agriculture.
According to Piltan, except for 88 items, the exchange of all commodities between the two countries was subject to the free trade agreement, based on which, the two countries’ businessmen were allowed to exchange goods only by paying a 4% tariff.
The official further mentioned some of the problems that the two countries’ traders are currently facing, saying: “There are other problems in the way of boosting trade with Syria; transportation of goods by sea is time-consuming, and this has led to additional cost of exporting goods to the Syrian market; transportation by land is also not possible, because the goods must be transported through Iraq to Syria, which requires a tripartite agreement, which, of course, is being pursued by the government, but it will take time until it is finalised.”
Another problem is related to banking transactions, he noted, adding: “At present, it is not possible to exchange money between traders of the two countries through the banking system. Using other strategies and mechanisms to exchange money imposes costs on traders in the two countries for which we are looking to find a solution.”