Iran has asked Indian exporters to step up direct bilateral trade instead of routing exports through the United Arab Emirates. Iran has also called for increased investments from this country.
India-Iran direct trade now stands at around $13 billion against a total of $30 billion including shipments through third countries, S N Tahery, advisor to the Iranian President on foreign affairs, said in a press release.
"Indo-Iran trade statistics could be enhanced to $30 billion from $13 billion at present if only India could consolidate its trade with Iran through Emirates as many Indians prefer to do trade with Iran through the UAE," a press release issued by the All-India Association of Industries quoted Tahery as saying.
India and Iran trade in 55 items in sectors such as auto, pharmaceuticals, engineering, and petroleum, among others.
"Iran has seven free trade zones. Three of these are in Chabahar, Kish, Qeshm, with close proximity to India, and have all the requisite tax concessions and supporting infrastructure for India not only to invest but also use them as a hub for CIS countries," Tahery said in a press release.
Iran, he pointed out, has amended Article 44 of its Constitution, which lays emphasis on privatisation, decentralisation of public sector and endorses private investment, he said, adding that the country at present has sanctions and incentives, which could benefit India.
The governments of Iran and India are also proposing to set up a private sector bank to promote bilateral trade that would deal in riyals and rupees, he pointed out.