Iran eyes $1bn annual trade volume with Saudi Arabia: Finance Minister

Khandouzi said the target was set by the Trade Promotion Organization (TPO) of Iran and is based on the two countries' capacities.

Tehran: Iranian Finance Minister Ehsan Khandouzi said his country aims to raise annual trade volume with Saudi Arabia to $1 billion in the first step of resuming economic ties.

Speaking at a press conference here on Tuesday, Khandouzi said the target was set by the Trade Promotion Organization (TPO) of Iran and is based on the two countries’ capacities, Xinhua news agency news agency reported.

The Minister said over the past few days, the TPO has been preparing a roadmap for developing economic relations with Saudi Arabia, adding that it will be finalized soon.

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Khandouzi said given that Iran and Saudi Arabia are both seriously determined to resume bilateral interaction and cooperation, the launch of the joint chamber of commerce is on the agenda.

He stressed that during the past years, the two countries have held a total of seven meetings of the joint economic commission and exchanged 20 trade and cooperation documents with each other.

The Finance Minister said the two countries have had no bilateral trade in some years, but last Iranian year, amid the two countries’ efforts to ease tensions, the value of Iranian exports to the kingdom reached $15 million.

Khandouzi also noted that he will take a trip to Saudi Arabia in the coming weeks.

China, Saudi Arabia, and Iran announced on March 10 that the two Arab nations had reached a deal that includes the agreement to resume diplomatic relations and reopen embassies and missions within two months.

In a meeting in Beijing last week, Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian and his Saudi counterpart Prince Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud signed a joint statement, announcing the resumption of diplomatic relations with immediate effect.

Saudi Arabia cut diplomatic ties with Iran in 2016 in response to the attacks on Saudi diplomatic missions in Iran after the kingdom executed a Shia cleric.

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