“Seeing the improved conditions for transit through Iraqi borders, increased flights to Syria and trade agreements of government officials, the prospects for expansion of economic cooperation with this country is positive in the current year,” Keyvan Kashef told IRNA.
The official said the issue of transportation is a key factor in mutual trade, adding that any businessman will need its product at the destination in the shortest possible time.
He said Iran and Syria are not neighbors and this raises the transit costs and the required time.
Kashef said Iraq enforces strict transit regulations that make goods transit through the country very difficult.
He said getting goods to Syria through Turkey is also costly and time consuming.
“Since last year, Iraq took steps to activate transit routes that can be very helpful for Iran,” he said.
“Syria is subject to sanctions and, under the Caesar regulations, any trade with the county subjects the seller to sanctions and for this reason we are also facing the problem of money transfer.”
Kashef also called for preferential trade regulations with Syria to reduce or zero customs rates to further speed up transactions with the country.
He said both Iranian and Syrian businessmen are interested in trade with the other country describing such trade as “win-win” and in line with the interests of both countries.