Jul 11, 2021, 11:46 AM
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Iran’s economic surge outlook in Eurasia

Moscow, IRNA – Eurasia Expo 2021 attended by tens of business companies from Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Russia which is held in Tehran bespeaks of new hope for Iran’s formal membership in the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) and an economic surge in the Eurasia region.

An important objective for Iran in joining the EAEU is to get access to the 300-million population market of Russia and other member states. In the meantime, the member states of the EAEU also see an opportunity in Iran’s membership in the union.

30 companies from Russia, 30 from Kyrgyzstan, over 10 from Armenia, over 10 from Kazakhstan and several others from Belarus who are active in the areas of banking, finance, technology, building plants, silos, ports, wharves, oil tanks, ship manufacturing, steel, livestock feed, oil and agricultural products have attended the event which is held on July 9-​12 in Tehran, Iran.

***Iran’s membership creates bright horizon before the union

Iran’s Ambassador in Russia Kazem Jalali said that EAEU member states want Iran to become a formal member because they believe that Iran’s membership would facilitate economic development in Eurasia and the Caucasus regions.

After only one year since signing a trade agreement with the EAEU, Iran’s foreign trade with the union has surpassed 3 billion dollars, the ambassador told IRNA.

The EAEU was launched in 2015 with Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Armenia, and Belarus as member states. Moldavia, Uzbekistan and Iran have observer status in the union.

Iran made a temporary free trade agreement with the EAEU in 2018 which become effective in 2019. The agreement is set to become permanent after three years of negotiations between Iran and the union.

Iran’s membership status as a full member EAEU is set to be decided soon.

****EAEU prioritizes strategic cooperation with Iran

Sergei Glazyev, Minister in charge of Integration and Macroeconomics of the Eurasian Economic Commission, previously said in a meeting with Ambassador Jalali that the EAEU prioritizes strategic partnership with Tehran, welcoming Iran’s full membership.

He said that the union has ratified its strategic document until 2025 and pursues accomplishing the strategy, adding that cooperation with Iran is interesting for the union.

The preferential trade agreement between Iran and the EAEU has been signed by the presidents of member states, Glazyev said, adding that the only hurdle to implement the agreement is related to technical issues which are being solved by experts.

****Iran’s membership strengthens the region’s economy and politics

Stanislav Tarasov, economic commentator and media activist, said in an article published in Regnum.ru that Iran’s full membership in the EAEU is the biggest economic and political event beyond the region.

Iran’s membership not only elevates its partnership with the EAEU to the strategic alliance level but also extends the union’s borders beyond the Persian Gulf region, in a manner that will profoundly affect the status quo in the entire Middle East region, Tarasov noted.

He also added that Iran’s partnership with Russia and its allies in the union would change the balance of power in the region in favor of Iran and the EAEU.

****Eurasia as a bridge connecting Asia and Europe

Javad Pourdast, an Iranian manager in Solyanka port in Astrakhan Oblast of Russia told IRNA that the Eurasian Economic Union can serve as a bridge between Asia and Europe.

He opined that the EAEU can become a successful model of regional integration to access other global markets, once economic chains like Belt and Road Initiative are accomplished.

Iran has a 53 percent share in Solyanka port which is the biggest port in Astrakhan in terms of space and number of wharves.

Pourdast said that the port can play a very important role in this regard, thanks to its excellent position in the Caspian Sea region.

He further said that gaining access to Russia's 140-million-population market is among Iran’s most important objectives in joining the EAEU. In the meantime, he said, this is also important for Russia as President Vladimir Putin has stressed Moscow's favorable opinion for Iran’s membership in the union.

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