TEHRAN- Iran’s Trade Promotion Organization (TPO) held the second meeting of its Commodity-Country Desk on trade with Qatar, director-general of TPO’s office of Arabian and African countries announced.
As published by the TPO official website on Friday, Farzad Piltan said that the second meeting of the mentioned desk was held with the aim of investigating the ways for the expansion of dairy products exports to Qatar.
Besides investigating the Qatari dairy products market, potentials and opportunities, laws and regulations, barriers and problems in terms of exporting such products to the Arab neighbour were also discussed, the official stated.
Dairy products constitute about $154 million of the total $35 billion of Qatar’s annual imports, Piltan mentioned, adding that these products account for $1 million of Iran’s total $200 million of exports to Qatar.
Trade between Iran and Qatar started to thrive when the Arab country came under a blockade by Saudi Arabia and allies in June 2017.
Iranian exporters have supplied various agricultural products as well as construction materials to Qatar, bringing in over $335 million in revenues over the past Iranian calendar year that ended on March 19.
Iran’s imports from Qatar topped $30 million over the same period, said Adnan Mousapour, the head of Iran-Qatar Joint Chamber of Commerce, who insisted that trade balance between the two countries could have further been in Iran’s favor if the pandemic had not caused a closure of shipping lines.
Mousapour said that the spread of the disease in Iran had also affected tourism activities between Iran and Qatar as well as a suitcase trade which normally accounts for a major share of exchanges between the two countries.
Reports in recent months have suggested that Iran and Qatar have plans to increase the size of joint investment projects, especially those in the energy sector.
In mid-April, Iran’s Energy Minister Reza Ardakanian and Qatar’s Minister of Commerce and Industry Ali bin Ahmed Al Kuwari agreed on cooperation in energy and investment spheres between the two countries during a video conference.
As the next meeting of Iran-Qatar Joint Economic Committee, which was scheduled to be held in Iran’s Isfahan City in the first Iranian calendar month of Farvardin (March 20-April 19), was canceled due to the coronavirus outbreak, the two ministers, who are the co-chairmen of the committee, discussed areas of bilateral cooperation through video conference.
The two sides also stressed that the meeting of the joint economic committee will be held as soon as the coronavirus pandemic ends and then seriously follow up the objectives of bilateral trade.
Meanwhile, they decided that until then both sides pursue the discussed issues through more video conferences.
In a joint press conference with Qatar’s Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani in Tehran in January, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said that Iran has stood and will stand beside Qatar in the future.
“At a juncture of time, certain regional countries imposed restrictions on Qatar, but Iran stood beside Qatar and will stand based on its duties as a neighbor,” Rouhani added.
He said that the two countries have a very good relationship in various areas of economy, science, and culture.
For his part, the Qatari emir said that Doha will never forget Tehran’s help in difficult days.
“We praise the Islamic Republic of Iran’s stance in recent years, especially when Qatar was under blockade,” the emir said. Sheikh Tamim also called for the expansion of relations.