TEHRAN — Armenia’s Finance Minister Tigran Khachatryan met with Iran’s Minister of Economic and Financial Affairs Ehsan Khandozi on Tuesday as part of his visit to Tehran on November 7-9.
The visit of Khachatryan and his delegation to Iran comes one week after Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan visited Tehran where he met with Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi mainly to discuss regional security concerns, but also prospects of increasing bilateral trade between the two neighboring countries.
During the meeting with his Iranian counterpart Khachatryan, as quoted by his press office, said that the volume of economic exchanges between the two countries is expected to grow by over 40 percent in 2022.
The Armenian and Iranian ministers highlighted several economic priorities between the two countries, in particular, raising annual bilateral trade to $3 billion, increasing the goods exchange volume to 5 million tones, as well as the facilitating and developing financial, banking, commercial and customs relations.
In his remarks the Armenian minister said that productive and constructive discussions were held during his first-ever visit to Iran. He also highlighted “constantly developing and strengthening cooperation” between Iran and Armenia.
“Economic and political relations between Iran and Armenia have a history of decades. The basis of all ongoing negotiations is this longstanding cooperation between our two countries, and the goal of raising the level of commercial relations between Armenia and Iran to $3 billion a year testifies to these main foundations,” Khachatrըan said.
In his turn the Iranian minister said that “the government of Iran is very closely following the economic policy run by neighbor countries, putting the focus on the Caucasus region.”
“And I hope that the goal of carrying out 3 billion dollars’ worth of trade between our countries, which has been discussed during the meeting of the Iranian president and the Armenian prime minister, will be fulfilled under the leadership of this government,” Khandozi said.
During the visit to Iran Khachatryan and members of his delegation, including his deputy Avag Avanesyan, also met with Iranian Vice President Masoud Mir Kazemi and planned to meet with Iran’s Minister of Industry, Mines and Trade Reza Fatemi Amin.
Armenia’s Prime Minister Pashinyan visited Tehran on November 1 to meet with Iran’s President Raisi.
Following their meeting focused on regional security issues the two leaders issued a statement to the press in which they also indicated their plans to deepen Armenian-Iranian commercial ties.
The Iranian president hailed the rise in bilateral trade registered this year and said the two governments want to help increase it to $3 billion per annum in the near future. “We will definitely achieve this goal,” he said.
According to Armenian government data, Armenia’s trade with Iran reached $427 million in January-August 2022.
Pashinyan, for his part, spoke of a “huge potential” for closer Armenian-Iranian cooperation in the energy, agriculture and road construction sectors.