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Iran, India set trade goal of $25 billion in four years

Source: Mehr News Agency, Tehran

Tehran and New Delhi plan to hit $25 billion in annual bilateral trade in the next four years, said Joint Secretary of the Indian Commerce Ministry Arvind Mehta, while heading an 80-member trade delegation to Iran.

The Indian official said the current annual trade between the two countries was around $15 billion, IRNA news agency reported.

The delegation was in the country to explore commercial opportunities created by the EU and U.S. sanctions against Tehran over its nuclear program.

The five-day visit by the delegation, which comprised representatives from the public and private sectors, included President of the Federation of Indian Export Organizations (FIEO) Rafeeque Ahmed.

Iran is India's second-largest oil supplier after Saudi Arabia, providing around 12 percent of the fast-growing country's crude needs, according to the Economic Times.

India has been examining ways to step up trade with Iran amid problems in settling its oil bills from Iran as a result of the intensifying sanctions campaign aimed at forcing Tehran to abandon its nuclear program.

Indian Commerce Secretary Rahul Khullar last month said New Delhi would send a delegation to Iran to "promote our own exports" and investigate business opportunities created by the sanctions.

He said there were "huge opportunities" to be reaped by India.

The two countries, which have long-standing historic ties, hope to settle around 45 percent of their oil trade in rupees by increasing exports, according to Indian media reports.

The Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India said Iran offers great potential for India's exporters.

... Payvand News - 03/10/12 ... --

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