Iran contemplating importing farm products from India

NEW DELHI, May 7: Iran is looking at importing agricultural commodities like wheat, rice and sugar from India as issues related to payment mechanism have been resolved, exporters body Fieo said today.
“There is a huge demand for Indian agri products and pharmaceuticals in Iran. We need to focus on that market. It would also help in bridging India’s ballooning trade deficit,” Federation of Indian Export Organisations (FIEO) President Rafeeq Ahmed told reporters here at a function.
The country’s trade deficit touched an all time high of USD 185 billion in the last fiscal.
A 56-member Iranian trade delegation is here to discuss ways and means to increase trade with India.
Ahmed said as the long-standing payment problem with Iran has already been resolved, there is a need to focus on boosting exports now.
“The payment mechanism has been set up with Iran, now exporters should focus on exploring that market. We will meet the Iranian business delegation,” he said.
Sanction-struck Iran is looking to import four major farm commodities—wheat, rice, sugar and tea—from India, he said.
Fieo also called for government’s support to increase exports to countries like China and African nations to bridge the trade deficit.
“Huge opportunities are available in China. It is a big market for us. There cost of manufacturing and wages are increasing; now our products would compete with them in the global market,” he said.
Ahmed said the western markets are still struggling to overcome the economic crisis and at such time “we need continuous government support to boost India’s exports in China and other markets”.
He said the Reserve Bank of India should intervene and ask the banks to provide affordable credit to exporters.
Ahmed said the government’s and exporters’ move to diversify markets and products are giving fruits.
“Asia and Asean region which accounted for about 35 per cent of India’s exports are now accounting for about 50 per cent. Gradually, we are reducing our dependency on the US and Europe,” he said.
India and Iran is looking at USD 25 billion bilateral trade in the next four years from the current level of USD 15 billion. (PTI)


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