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Iran to lighten duties on some imports from Kazakhstan

2 April 2019 20:58

NUR-SULTAN. KAZINFORM - Draft Law "On the Ratification of the Temporary Agreement Leading to the Creation of a Free Trade Zone between the Eurasian Economic Union and Its Member States, for One Part, and the Islamic Republic of Iran, for the Other Part" has been considered today during an extended session of the Kazakh Senate's Committee on Economic Policy, Innovative Development and Entrepreneurship, Kazinform correspondent reports.

"In accordance with the Agreement, the Iranian side reduces import customs duties for 864 commodities: 262 agricultural and 602 industrial ones. It is planned to reduce the customs duties on beef and mutton from 26 percent to 5-10 percent, on pulses from 55 pct to 5-10 pct, on vegetable oil from 20 pct to 10 pct, on pasta and confectionery from 55 pct to 14-20 pct, on rolled steel from 20 pct to 15 pct, on rails from 5 pct to 4 pct. The above-mentioned commodities now account for over half of Kazakhstan's exports to Iran. The countries of the Eurasian Economic Union are reducing import customs duties on 502 goods," Serik Zhumangarin, Vice Minister of National Economy of Kazakhstan, said while introducing the bill.

According to him, the Agreement will enter into force 60 days after the completion of the ratification procedures and will be valid for three years. Over the course of the year, it is planned that the sides will begin negotiations on concluding a permanent agreement on the establishment of a free trade zone.

Delivering his report, Zhumangarin informed that in 2018, the value of mutual trade between Kazakhstan and Iran reached $516.3 million. This includes $426.7 million (82.6 percent) of Kazakhstan's exports to Iran, $89.5 million of imports from Iran. Kazakhstan mainly exports barley, rolled steel, rapeseed, and mutton.

In turn, Vice Minister of Agriculture Gulmira Issayeva informed that in January 2019, the Memorandum on wheat and wheat products supplies was signed by Iran, Kazakhstan, and Russia. The memorandum is an integral part of the Agreement signed in May 2018.

Iranian businesses have shown interest in processing Kazakhstan-grown wheat and jointly re-export it to third countries.

After the discussion, the committee decided to introduce the bill for consideration at the plenary session of the Senate.