The governor of the Central Bank of Iran (CBI) has underlined the importance of enhancing cooperation with Armenia.
Abdonasser Hemmati also touched upon the age-old history of trade and cultural exchanges between the two countries.
“Currently, the volume of trade between the two countries is not reflecting the long history of mutual cooperation,” said the CBI governor in a meeting with Aremnian Economy Minister Vahan Kerobyan.
“So, by holding similar meetings, we hope we will be able to further promote reciprocal ties and see [mutual] economic cooperation expand,” said the Iranian official.
Hemmati then recalled that Iran and Armenia are both members of the Eurasian Economic Union.
“Using its geographical situation, Armenia can have a tremendous impact on the promotion of trade ties between the two countries and with the whole [Eurasian Economic] Union, especially when Iranian businesspeople have always been very interested in exporting goods to Armenia,” added Hemmati, who is also the head of Iran’s Money and Credit Council.
“Despite the heavy pressure of the US, the economic situation of Iran is improving and we have been able to secure a positive economic growth this year,” he added.
“Generally speaking, we believe the sanctions won’t last, and currently, Iran’s trade ties with certain countries are opening up, and it is a proper time for Armenia, as a friend and neighbour of Iran, to work towards boosting its relations with Iran,” said the CBI director.
“Over the 10 months to January 2021, Iran exported $260 million worth of goods to Armenia. However, Iran’s imports from Armenia amounted to less than 30% of that figure,” he said.
“These figures are not very high, and a solution should be worked out to strike a balance or to transfer excess trade resources, so that Iran will be able to increase its exports more than ever before,” he said.
The Armenian official, in turn, expressed his gratitude to the CBI for hosting him, and called for the expansion of trade and economic relations between the two countries.
He also called for major Iranian companies to run investment and production activities in Armenia.
Given the importance of banking issues between the two countries, Kerobyan invited the CBI governor to travel to Yerevan to follow up on specialized banking and financial transactions issues with his Armenian counterpart.