Abu Dhabi, April 11, IRNA-Iranian Ambassador to United Arab Emirates (UAE) Mohammad Ali Hadi and UAE Economy and Planing Minister Sheikha Lubna Al Qasimi explored ways to expand cooperation between the two nations in economy and agricultural sector here Sunday.
The Iranian envoy referred to the establishing of Iran Trade Center in the UAE as important step in strengthening bilateral trade and industrial ties.
Al Qasimi welcomed the opening of the center and accepted the invitation to attend the inaugural ceremonies.
In a separate meeting Hadi also met with Head of Abu Dhabi's Consultative Assembly to review avenues for strengthening parliamentary ties between the two nations.
The Iran Trade Center, under the supervision of the Iranian embassy, in UAE will start operations in Dubai in May.
The center's aims are in line with the goals of Iran Development Exports Organization (IDTO) to boost Iran's non-oil exports.
Iran is one of the most important partners of Abu Dhabi in terms reexports. The value of reexports to Iran stood at dlrs 70 million in 2004 which puts Iran as the fourth largest of Abu Dhabi's reexports partners.
China, with dlrs 114 million, Saudi with dlrs 101 million and Qatar with dlrs 72 million worth of reexports stood before Iran in trade with Abu Dhabi.
Iran has constantly ranked as important reexport market with other Persian Gulf emirates including Dubai and Sharjah in the recent years.
Experts forecast that the volume of Iran-UAE trade exchange is to rise by 53.2 percent to about 16.10 billion dirhams in 2004 compared to 2003.
Abu Dhabi's re-exports to Iran rose to dlrs 10 million in the first three months of the year.
Deputy Commerce Minister for International Trade Mojtaba Khosrow-Taj said here in February that Iran is an important re-export partner of Dubai.
Khosrow Taj, who is also head of IEDO, said that the weight of Iran's goods trade with Dubai is 9.5 million tons "of which 37 percent consist of goods transited from Iran with Dubai as their destination." He further said that uncompetitive banking practices in Iran has hindered Iran-Dubai trade exchange. "Also over 4,000 Iranian companies are active in Dubai," he underlined.
Khosrowtaj added that the country should capitalize on the potentials of Dubai market, which facilitate and provide economical trade opportunities to Iranian entrepreneurs.
He further said that exporters prefer to purchase inexpensive goods from cheaper sources, adding that Iran's trade with UAE suffers from mismanagement.
The Persian Gulf state reexports a considerable amount of Iranian goods, in recent years, Dubai has turned into the main venue for the reexport of Chinese goods to regional countries, particularly Iran.
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