Iran, Belarus agree to boost trade and economic cooperation

Iranian Industry, Mines and Trade Minister Reza Fatemi Amin has signed agreements with Belarusian officials to further develop trade and economic cooperation between the two countries.

Fatemi Amin was visiting Minsk to attend the 15th Iran-Belarus Joint Trade Commission on July 28-29. Recently signed MoUs cover trade and industrial cooperation, agriculture and fish farming, investment, geology and water resources, transport and others.

Following the meeting, the senior Iranian official unveiled his country’s plans to increase production in the mining industry and to purchase Belarusian heavy vehicles for this purpose.

“Over the past ten years, BelAz equipment has been in high demand in the Iranian market. He is reliable and showed himself only on the good side. Since our plans are to increase production in the mining industry, we would like to receive approximately 800 mining dump trucks. For this purpose, we chose BelAz,” he added.

BelAz is a Belarusian automobile factory and one of the world’s largest manufacturers of large and especially large-sized dump trucks and other heavy transport equipment for the mining and construction industries. In September 2013, BelAZ presented the first sample of the BelAZ-75710 mining dump truck, the largest dump truck in the world with a load capacity of 450 tons.

In turn, Belarusian Industry Minister Piotr Parkhomchik said that Iran and Belarus show interest in strengthening cooperation in the industrial sector and increasing mutual trade.

“Last year, bilateral trade was only 33 million dollars, although in the best years, our trade reached 250-300 million dollars. Therefore, we are ready to achieve trade turnover approximately $500 million in a short period of time,” the minister said.

Iran is a major importer of Belarusian agricultural products, foodstuffs (beef, confectionery), medical equipment and raw materials for medicines. Iran is also increasingly interested in Belarusian industrial products, agricultural machinery, machine tools, passenger vehicles, electric transport and household appliances. At the same time, Belarus is interested in supplies of Iranian fresh fruits and vegetables, nuts and dried fruits, fish and seafood, products of chemical and petrochemical industries, building materials, pharmaceuticals and medical equipment.

The current trade volume between Iran and Belarus is around $40 million.

Iranian Ministry of Industry, Mines and Trade spokesman Omid Ghalibaf said Iran-Belarus trade would soon increase tenfold and then twentyfold.

According to him, the important point in Iran’s bilateral trade with Belarus is the export of medical equipment from scientific enterprises to this country worth 5 million dollars a year.

Meanwhile, Iran and Belarus are likely to be the two latest additions to the China-Russia-backed Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO). Iran is expected to become a full member after completing formalities, while SCO member states, which follow the consensus system to decide on admission of new members, will take a call on Belarus’ candidacy .

China and Russia seek to present the grouping as a counterweight to the West, especially after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

“The significance of this round of expansion is that it shows the growing international influence of the SCO and that the principles of the SCO charter are widely accepted,” said the SCO secretary general, Zhang Ming, July 15.

About Catherine Sturm

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