Iran-Afghanistan Economic Commission to Meet
The third meeting of Iran-Afghanistan Economic Commission will be held in Tehran in March, Afghanistan’s Chamber of Commerce and Industries announced.
The two sides will discuss expansion of trade and transit ties, opportunities for joint investment in different sectors, expansion of infrastructure at Chabahar Port and the launch of branches of Afghan banks in Iran, TOLOnews reported on its website.
“We want government officials to discuss joint investments and to convince Iranian investors to invest in different sectors in Afghanistan,” ACCI Spokesman Seyam Pesaraly said.
Iranian Embassy officials in Kabul were quoted by the Afghan news channel as saying on Saturday that among the 500 companies licensed to operate in Chabahar, 165 are Afghan.
Afghanistan’s Ministry of Commerce and Industries said Iran has provided special privileges to Afghan investors at Chabahar.
“The problem of getting visas for Afghan investors to Iran has been solved and efforts are underway to provide further facilities to our investors,” said Yahya Akhlaqi, transit director at the Afghan ministry.
Earlier, Afghan news agency Wadsam cited the economic attaché at the Iranian Embassy in Kabul, Mohammad Reza Karimzadeh, as saying that Iran is offering an 80% discount in export tariffs and a 75% discount on import duties to Afghan traders using Chabahar.
Tehran, New Delhi and Kabul signed a trilateral agreement to develop Chabahar in Tehran in May 2016. Afghanistan is a major destination for Iranian exports.
According to Afghan commercial attache to Iran, Jaber Ansar, Iran holds a 22% share ($2.5 billion) from Afghanistan’s $11.5 billion consumer market.
Afghanistan’s exports to Iran have been as little as a dozen million dollars on average over the past decade.
According to the head of Trade Promotion Organization of Iran’s Afghanistan Desk, Mohammad Mehdi Javanmard Qasab, Iran exported $2 billion worth of goods to Afghanistan during the 10 months to Jan. 20, unchanged compared with last year’s corresponding period.
The exports mainly included chemical products, construction materials, metal, rebar, pastry, chocolate, food and floorings.
Iran’s imports from the neighboring country during the period mainly included unprocessed stones and silkworm cocoon to reached $16 million, registering a 14% decline year-on-year.