March 18, 2022
Iran is ready to meet India’s energy needs by launching rupee-rial trade for export of oil and gas, said Ali Chegeni, Tehran’s Ambassador to New Delhi.
“Rupee-rial trade mechanism can help companies from both the countries to deal with each other directly and avoid third party intermediation costs,” the Ambassador said speaking at an interactive meeting on Thursday organised by the MVIRDC World Trade Centre, a trade facilitating body, and the All India Association of Industries (AIAI).
Tehran is also willing to work closely with India to revive and find alternative routes for the stalled Iran-Pakistan-India pipeline project for transporting natural gas to India, he said.
Trade between India-Iran has declined from $17 billion in 2018-19 (April-March) to less than $2 billion so far in the current financial year (April-January) due to US-imposed sanctions.
However, the Ambassador said that actual trade could be at least six times more than what is reflected in the official data, as several transactions went unreported.
“If both countries launch rupee-rial trade mechanisms, the bilateral trade could grow to $30 billion,” Chegeni said.
India is import dependent on several products like urea, petrochemicals, organic fruits, which are produced by Iran, while India is a major producer of agro commodities, pharmaceuticals, iron and steel and automobiles, clinkers, cement, among others which are imported by Iran.
Chegeni, at the meeting, further said Iran introduced a paper-less, electronic multiple visa issuance system for Indians to promote exchange of businessmen, tourists and students.