Expansion of Economic Relations
Iran-Turkey trade balance is in favor of Turkey without including
oil and gas imports by that country.
Ambassador to Turkey Bahman Hosseinpour in an interview has outlined
bilateral efforts in further expansion of Tehran-Ankara relations:
How would you evaluate the present
economic, cultural and tourism relations between the two countries?
Trade relations between Iran and Turkey have taken an
upward trend in recent years to such an extent that the volume of bilateral
trade in 2010 reached the record figure of $11 bn. Statistics over trade
transactions of the two countries in the first quarter of 2011 lend further
proof to the growing trend as the figure, enjoying a 74% increase over the
same period last year increased from $1.8 bn to $3.54 bn.
As for bilateral cultural relations, with regard to
common cultural, historical, religious and neighborly commonalties,
gradually and through removing misunderstandings and in the light of
emphasis of the leaders of the two countries on the need to further expand
cooperation and communications, fortunately necessary grounds have been
prepared for cultural cooperation. Also, proper understandings have been
reached in scientific, education, academic, artistic and religious areas.
Following mutual meetings of the officials of both the countries, several
agreements were signed for further expansion of bilateral cooperation.
Meanwhile, officials of the two countries believe that with regard to the
existing potentials still there are numerous areas available for cooperation
in such fields as arts, sports, handicrafts, youth, film making and TV
With regard to tourism relations and grounds that have
been prepared in Turkey, annually a large number of Iranian tourists visit
Turkey. According to the announcement of Turkish officials, in 2010 about 2
million Iranians visited Turkey while the number of Turkish people visiting
Iran was meager despite Iran's historical monuments. In line with this, the
Iranian embassy has made utmost efforts in organizing several technical
tourism committees in Tehran and Istanbul and in dispatching Turkish
reporters and tourism company owners to Tehran. It also encourages Iranian
partners to participate in relevant exhibitions and festivals in order to
further represent tourism capacities in Iran and thus help increase the
number of Turkish tourists to Iran.
The issue of expansion of Farsi language and literature
in Turkish universities and colleges has taken a suitable course and has
been widely welcomed by Turkish students.
Are you satisfied with the level of
Bilateral relations in trade, tourism, cultural and
academic areas in recent years, especially in the past three years, and with
regard to the grounds which have been prepared for the expansion of
relations in economic, trade and investment areas, are in the best possible
situation to such as extent that the Leader in his meeting with Turkish
officials described bilateral cooperation between the two countries in the
past hundred years as unprecedented. Meanwhile, bilateral cooperation at
regional and international levels has outstandingly increased and officials
of both the countries are on constant consultation with each other. It seems
that with regard to the provision of the required grounds, relations are
moving and approaching forward rapidly. Therefore, it is expected that the
designed perspective for trade relations of $30 bn would be realized within
the next few years.
It seems that in the absence of any specific problem the $30 bn
ceiling for trade exchanges and even more between the two countries
could be realized within less than five years.
Is bilateral trade balance in
Iran's favor and if the answer is negative what measures should be adopted
to reach a positive balance?
Iran-Turkey trade balance is in favor of Turkey without
including oil and gas imports by that country. Iran, in order to reach
positive balance should produce non-oil products especially export-oriented
commodities for export to Turkey and European countries while taking
European standards into consideration. Presence of Iranian production
companies in different Turkish exhibitions and efforts for presentation of
Iranian manufactured commodities could reserve a place for such products in
The Turkish ambassador says
annually over 2.5 million Iranians visit Turkey while only 250 thousand
Turkish tourists visit Iran. What can be done to strike a suitable balance?
The low number of Turkish tourists visiting Iran, despite
the fact that Iran is among the top 10 countries in terms of cultural and
historical sites, is due to lack of acquaintance of Turkish people with
Iran's deep cultural history as well as lack of proper activities by Iranian
tourism companies in Turkey and transparent strategies of tourism
organizations in the field of attracting tourists. Meanwhile, expansion of
infrastructures, training of skilled manpower, welfare facilities and
offering suitable services are among requirements for expansion of tourism.
Establishment of expanded cooperation between tourism
companies of both the countries could be highly effective in the field of
exchange of tourists.
How many Iranian companies are
active in Turkey in the field of economy and tourism and what are their
According to statistics released by Ankara Industry
Chamber, by the end of 2010 about 1470 Iranian companies had been registered
in that country but there is no information available about the number of
those being active. It seems that most of them are active in the field of
trade, a number in the field of tourism and some in investment.
In your opinion, what are the main
problems and what measure do you suggest to be taken for their removal?
Major problems between the two countries in the field of
trade could be listed as follows:
Incompatibility of the standards of Iranian products
with Turkish consumer goods and European customs union;
Poor acquaintance of Turkish businessmen with Iran's
Weak cooperation of logistic companies of the two
Improper transit roads in eastern Turkey as well as
in Iran's border areas;
Absence of an institutionalized system in trade
relations between the two countries such as preferential and free trade
agreement for which negotiations are underway;
Complexity of bureaucratic systems of the two
countries as an impediment hindering expansion of economic and trade
Lack of acquaintance of Iranian tradesmen with
diplomatic techniques and trade negotiations and lack of skill in
motivating their trade partners;
Incompatibility of Iranian tradesmen with market
Please comment on the future
expansion of bilateral trade up to $30 bn.
Under the status quo and with regard to the efforts made
by the embassy and other relevant organizations of both the countries for
the expansion of economic relations, including increasing border customs
gates from the present three to five, removing tariff bottlenecks and for
signing preferential agreements, trade relations are growing and statistics
of the past three years lend further evidence to it.
that in the absence of any specific problem the $30 bn ceiling for trade
exchanges and even more between the two countries could be realized within
less than five years. The $35 bn statistic for trade relations in the first
quarter of the current year is indicative of the fact that in the case of
continuation of such a trend, the figure would be increased to over $13 bn
by the end of the year.