India proposes to double transactions with Iran
India’s Commerce and Industry Minister Suresh Prabhu proposed to double trade with Iran in the next five years from the current level of $13.8 billion, according to Indian media reports.
Ways to boost trade and investment between the two countries were discussed during a meeting between Prabhu and the visiting Iranian Minister of Roads and Urban Development Abbas Akhoundi in New Delhi.
The meeting assumes significance as the US has imposed sanctions on Iran. The US has also told India and other countries to cut oil imports from Iran to zero by November 5 or face sanctions.
After the meeting of the two ministers, Prabhu tweeted: “Our discussions were centred on expanding bilateral ties between India and Iran beyond the energy and security sectors.”
Ganesh Gupta, President of Federation of Indian Export Organisations, had recently said the government needs to look into problems facing exporters shipping consignments to Iran in view of US sanctions.
Iran is India’s third-largest oil supplier after Iraq and Saudi Arabia. Iran supplied 18.4 million tons of crude oil between April 2017 and January 2018.
Trade between India and Iran increased to $13.8 billion in 2017-18 from $12.9 billion in the previous fiscal. However, India exports goods worth only $2.65 billion to Iran, while its imports stood at $11.11 billion.