Friday, June 14, 2024

Official: Iranian businesses expect big jump in trade with Arab states

Iranian businesses believe trade with Arab countries of the Persian Gulf could see a jump in the near future amid a political rapprochement between Tehran and Riyadh, an official with Iran's private sector says.

Chairman of Iran Export Confederation Mohammad Lahoti said on Tuesday that better ties between Iran and Saudi Arabia would certainly boost trade opportunities for Iranians living and working in the United Arab Emirates, a major re-exporting hub in the region.

Lahoti stated that Iranian businesses had major difficulties in the UAE since 2016 when Tehran and Abu Dhabi downgraded their ties mainly because of problems in relations between Iran and Saudi Arabia.

He added trade between Iran and the UAE had increased significantly in the two months to late May to reach $3 billion.

“This is a fact that Saudi Arabia is a sort of a leader of the countries in the Persian Gulf and the influence of this country can reflect itself in our positive or negative ties with other Arab countries,” Lahoti was quoted by the semi-official ILNA news agency.

The businessman said that Iran’s exports to Saudi Arabia had jumped to some $15 million in the few months that have passed since March when the two countries decided to restore their diplomatic relations under a deal signed in China.

He added that Iran expects annual trade with Saudi Arabia to reach $2 billion in the near future, adding that there is a good demand in the kingdom for Iranian-made steel and mining products as well as for dry nuts, carpets and tiles shipped from Iran.

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