India, Iran trade poised to cross $25b in 4 years
5/12/2013 8:52:02 AM
The Consulate of Iran, Hyderabad, in association with the Federation of Andhra Pradesh Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FAPCCI), has set up the Chamber of Commerce for Iran Trade Promotion to promote bilateral trade between Iran and India.
Addressing a gathering in collaboration with FAPCCI, Hassan Nourian said: “The Indo-Iran trade cooperation amounts to $15 billion. Both the Governments of Iran and India have come to a conclusion that in the next four years they want to take it to $25 billion.’’
“We have already entered the second year. Currently most of the exports from Iran to India are primarily based on oil and petroleum products. To offset this, both have encouraged focusing on non-oil exports from India in order to strike a balance of trade between the two countries,’’ he said.
About 45 percent of exports from Iran are paid in Indian rupees, and the Indian Ministry of Commerce has expressed desire to encourage trade to use the rupee surplus accumulated through oil exports from Iran to India.
The payment in rupees is deposited with India’s UCO Bank which has tied up with five Iranian banks as a part of the arrangement. The RBI has already created a $3-billion fund as a part of this initiative, he said.
To promote bilateral trade between the two, a 23-member business delegation from Hyderabad was taken to ‘The First Export Capabilities Exhibition of Iran’ held at Tehran during April 27-30. The delegation also visited Bushehr and Shiraz provinces.
-- Hyderabad-Mashhad flights likely from June 30  
A direct flight between Hyderabad and Mashhad in Iran is set to take off from June 30, making it the first such service between South India and the Persian Gulf nation, Nourian added. 
He said the twice-a-week flight, to be operated by his country's Aseman Airlines, would make it easy for tourists wanting to visit the second biggest Iranian city. 
"Culturally and religiously Hyderabad is well connected with Mashhad. The direct flight will be advantageous for tourists, Indian businessmen, domicile Iranians and a large number of Iranian students in the city and southern parts of India," the envoy said at a press conference.
"As per the schedule given to us, there will be two flights a week from Hyderabad to Mashhad," Nourian said. 
Currently, Iran's Mahan Air operates four flights from Delhi and two from Mumbai. Around 50,000 Indians visit Iran while 30,000 Iranians visit India every year, he said. 
To a query, the diplomat said Iran currently offers visa-on-arrival facility to India visitors and his country would welcome if New Delhi reciprocates this arrangement. 
"If India offers visa-on-arrival facility to Iranians, the number of tourists from our country would increase," he said.