Iran is ready to meet India’s energy security needs by launching rupee-rial trade for oil and gas export, said Dr. Ali Chegeni, Ambassador of the Islamic Republic of Iran in India. Iran is also willing to work closely with India to revive and find alternative routes for the Iran-Pakistan-India pipeline project to transport natural gas to India.
“The rupee-rial trade mechanism can help companies from both countries to deal directly with each other and avoid third-party intermediation costs,” the ambassador said Thursday during an interactive meeting organized by the MVIRDC World Trade Center. , a trade facilitation body and All Indian Association of Industries (AIAI).
Trade between India and Iran has fallen sharply due to sanctions, from $17 billion in 2018-2019 (April-March) to less than $2 billion so far this fiscal year ongoing (April-January). However, the ambassador said the actual trade could be at least six times higher than what is reflected in official data, as several transactions went unreported.
“If the two countries launch rupee-rial trade mechanisms, bilateral trade could reach $30 billion,” Dr Chegeni said.
India depends on imports of several products such as urea, petrochemicals, organic fruits, which are produced by Iran, while India is a major producer of agro-food products, pharmaceuticals, iron and steel and automobiles, clinker, cement, etc. which are imported by Iran.
Iran has introduced an electronic system for issuing paperless multiple visas for Indians to promote the exchange of businessmen, tourists and students, the ambassador said.
“In this post-COVID world where the global supply chain is reshaping, India should rework its trade relationship with Iran for the benefit of business communities on both sides. Chabahar Port can be a golden gateway for Indian trade to Eurasian countries and Europe. Both countries are expected to facilitate the smooth flow of cargo through Chabahar Port,” said Dr. Vijay Kalantri, Chairman of MVIRDC World Trade Center Mumbai.