Thailand plans to raise trade with Iran to $5bn

Thailand hopes to bring its trade transactions with Iran to $5 billion from the current $356 million as the Islamic Republic prepares to receive sanctions relief.

“The value of trade and [mutual] investment between Iran and Thailand can increase to $1.2 billion two years into the lifting of the sanctions,” Thai Deputy Minister of Commerce Suvit Maesincee said.

“Within four or five years after the removal of the sanctions, the transactions between the two countries can reach $3 billion or even $5 billion,” he added.

Maesincee said Iran-Thailand trade was reduced last year by $600 million due to oil price fall and global recession.

He said Thai Foreign Minister Don Pramudwinai is expected to travel to Tehran in coming days.

Maesincee said Iran is located in a “strategic position” providing access to Eurasian countries of 700 million people.

Iran currently enjoys a meager $99 million share in Thailand’s $200 billion market.


Sanctions relief

The European Union is ready to lift economic sanctions against Iran as soon as the UN nuclear agency verifies Tehran’s compliance with its obligations under a nuclear agreement it reached with six world powers last July.

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) is expected to issue its final report on Saturday confirming that Iran has lived up to its obligations under the nuclear agreement, dubbed the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

The IAEA is expected to confirm that Iran had fulfilled its obligations so that the 28-nation EU, alongside the United States and the United Nations, can end their sanctions on what is known as “Implementation Day” for the JCPOA.

Iran and the P5+1 – the United States, France, Britain, Russia and China plus Germany finalized the text of the JCPOA in the Austrian capital of Vienna in July 2015.

Under the JCPOA, limits are put on Iran’s nuclear activities in exchange for, among other things, the removal of all nuclear-related economic and financial bans against the Islamic Republic.