Iran’s Minister of Industry, Mines and Trade, Reza Fatemi Amin, has signed agreements with Belarusian officials to further develop trade and economic cooperation between the two countries.
Fatemi Amin was visiting Minsk to attend the 15th Iran-Belarus Joint Trade Commission on July 28-29. The recently signed memoranda of understanding (MoU). centered on commercial and industrial cooperation, agriculture and fish farming, investment, geology and water resources, transport and others.
After the meeting, Iran’s senior official disclosed his country’s plans to increase production in the mining industry and purchase Belarusian heavy vehicles for this purpose.
“For the past ten years, BelAz equipment has been in great demand in the Iranian market. It is reliable and has only shown itself on the good side. As our plans are to increase production in the mining industry, we would like to receive about 800 mining dump trucks. For this, we have chosen BelAz,” he said added.
BelAz is a Belarus car factory and one of the world’s largest manufacturers of large and extra large dump trucks as well as other heavy transport equipment for the mining and construction industries. In September 2013, BelAZ presented the first sample of the mining dump truck BelAZ-75710, the largest dump truck in the world with a load capacity of 450 tons.
In turn, the Minister of Industry of Belarus, Piotr Parkhomchik, said that Iran and Belarus show interest in boosting cooperation in the industrial sector and increasing mutual trade.
“Last year bilateral trade was only 33 million dollars, although in the best years our trade reached 250-300 million dollars. So, we are ready to achieve a business turnover of around $500 million in a short period of time,” the minister said.
Iran is a major importer of Belarusian agricultural products, food (beef, confectionery), medical equipment and raw materials for medicines. Iran is also increasingly interested in Belarusian industrial products, agricultural machinery, machine tools, passenger vehicles, electric transport and household appliances. At the same time, Belarus is interested in the supply of Iranian fresh fruits and vegetables, nuts and dried fruits, fish and seafood, products of the chemical and petrochemical industry, construction materials, pharmaceutical products and medical equipment.
The current volume of Iran-Belarus trade is about $40 million.
The spokesman of Iran’s Ministry of Industry, Mines and Trade, Omid Ghalibaf, said that Iran-Belarus trade would take off in a short time. ten times and then twenty times.
According to him, the important point of Iran’s bilateral trade with Belarus is to export medical equipment from science-based companies to that country worth 5 million dollars a year.
Meanwhile, Iran and Belarus are likely to be the two most recent additions to the China-Russia-backed Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO). Iran is expected to become a full member after completing the formalities, while the SCO member states, which follow the consensus system to decide on the admission of new members, will respond to the request for Belarus
China and Russia seek to frame the grouping as a counter to the West, especially after the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
“The significance of this round of expansion is that it shows the growing international influence of the SCO and that the principles of the SCO Charter are widely accepted,” said the SCO Secretary General. Zhang Mingsaid on July 15.