Iran likely to open free trade market, more border crossings with KRG

TEHRAN, Nov. 27 (MNA) – Iranian Consul General to Sulyamaniyah Saadullah Masoudian says that Iran is trying to open a new border crossing with Iraqi Kurdistan’s Sulyamaniyah province, adding that establishing a free trade zone may also be on the agenda.

Speaking to Shafaq News website, Saadullah Masoudian, the head of the mission in Iranian Consulate General in Iraqi Kurdistan’s Sulyamaniyah province, said that the trade relations between Iran and the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) are continuing, adding “we are trying to open new border crossings between the two sides.”

Masoudian added the efforts made so far by the citizens on the two sides of the borders indicate their shared willingness to open a new border crossing.

Iranian Consul General to Sulyamaniyah said that the KRG officials have expressed their readiness to open a new border gate, expressing hope that “Tehran and Baghdad officials will be able to create a formal border crossing as well as an unofficial one in Halabaja Governorate.”

He went on to say “creating free trade zones has always been on the agenda of the Islamic Republic of Iran and legal measures have been taken in that regard in Iranian Parliament. These actions might take one or two years, while the current stage is appropriate time for opening a market in this region.”

He said the border areas between Baneh and Marivan is expected to be turned into a free trade zone at Bashmagh border crossing.

According to the report, there are eight border crossings between Iran and the KRG, out of which Bashmagh and Parvizkhan gates are located on shared borders with Sulyamaniyah province, as well as some unofficial gates like Seyranband and Shushme Vakili.

Some officials at Sulyamaniyah Chamber of Commerce and Industry have said that the bilateral trade between Iran and the KRG has amounted to $6.8 billion. On the other hand, the Iranian Consulate General in Sulyamaniyah emphasizes that there are plans to increase annual trade between the two sides to $10 billion, and some of the trade exchanges will be conducted through unofficial crossings.

KI/ISNA97090602248

News Code 139970

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