Iran’s share of Russian food market unsatisfactory: official
TEHRAN, May 23 (MNA) – Head of Iran-Russia Joint Chamber of Commerce Asadollah Asgaroladi has criticized low volume of trade between Iran and Russia as compared to neighboring states.
A meeting of Iran-Russia Joint Chamber was held in Iran Chamber of Commerce, Industries, Mines and Agriculture (ICCIMA) with a focus on barriers to food exports to Russia.
Asgaroladi, while pointing to good political ties between Tehran and Moscow, said Russia in the largest consumer of food products in East European countries and conducts imports from across the world while Iran enjoys an unsatisfactory position among food exporters to the Eurasian country.
The official referred to Iran’s good economic relations with its 15 neighbors asserting that the lowest volume of exchanges belongs to Russia.
He said ascribing the low figure in trade turnover to sanctions was a mere excuse since no limitations exist now except for banking issues; “Russians themselves seem to have decided not to purchase more items from Iran.”
Asadollah Asgaroladi went on to enumerate obstacles to expansion of trade ties with Russia including banking, financial, transport and visa issuance issues.
The head of Iran-Russia chamber touched upon his recent visit to Russia saying “owner of a chain market told me that packaging of Iranian products enjoyed a lower quality than that of fruits of other countries.”
Russian trade representative in Iran Andrei Lugansky, who is also a member of the joint Chamber, deemed international sanctions as a major reason to the fall in Tehran-Moscow trade turnover.
Iran and Russia share similar structures the only difference being that the Russian one is larger, he noted. “Food distribution mechanisms in Russia are however completely different from Iranian ones as only chain markets exist in the Eurasian country.”
“Despite Russia’s eagerness, we cannot enter into contracts with Iranian partners since they are scattered and no single large company exists with which we can launch negotiations,” Lugansky stressed.
He further recalled the instance of purchasing 50 thousand tons of tomatoes from a large Turkish holding in 2015 noting that Iranians need to be capable of supplying massive volumes of food products.
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