The interactive meeting at MVIRDC World Trade Center Mumbai was attended by Iranian diplomats. Looking forward to furthering the trade and strategic relations of India-Iran, they announced the possibility of extending the natural gas pipeline for Oman up to Porbandar.
Mr. Mehdi Safari, Deputy Foreign Minister for Economic Relations of Iran, during his address at the MVIRDC World Trade Center Mumbai interactive meeting, announced, “Already, Iran is building this natural gas pipeline to Oman, which can be extended to India up to Porbandar,” he further stated, “Our export to India has grown 60 percent in 2022 and in the last two months it has grown 90 percent. This implies diversification of trade away from crude oil. Iran is committed to meeting the energy needs of India.” Iran is facing US-imposed economic sanctions for over 40 years, however, India is among its top five trade partners.
Mr. Safari was attending the meeting to promote the “Iran Expo 2023” and explore possible trade and investment collaborations. The Iran Expo 2023 is to be held in Tehran from May 7 to May 10. He also proposed to India the Chabahar port, South of Iran, as a gateway to access Central Asia, Caucasian and European markets through the International North-South Transit Corridor, “We are also working with Persian Gulf countries, including Emirates and Qatar to promote trade through this corridor.” He added, “There are also other opportunities to invest in infrastructure, tourism as well as manufacturing projects in this region,” seeking Indian investment for the development of Shahid Beheshti port.
Mr. Iraj Elhai, the Iranian Ambassador to India, acknowledged India as a major trade partner for crude oil and fertilizer for energy and food security, “Today, we have created an alternative SWIFT payment settlement mechanism with 10 countries to bypass US sanctions. We are also engaged in barter trade in energy, biomedicine, medical equipment, and other products with foreign countries,” he further said, “Today, we have created an alternative SWIFT payment settlement mechanism with 10 countries to bypass US sanctions. We are also engaged in barter trade in energy, biomedicine, medical equipment, and other products with foreign countries.”
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Mr. Vijay Kalantri, Chairman of MVIRDC World Trade Center Mumbai, stated “Iran can be the gateway to Central Asia and Europe. The current bilateral trade has declined from the high level of USD 18 billion in 2018 to less than USD 2 billion last year because of US sanctions. We need to promote trade settlement in local currency to increase trade volume to the previous high level. Both countries can address bottlenecks in trade by improving connectivity, fast-tracking road, port, and the 600 km railway line from Chabahar port to Zahedan.”