Indonesia, Iran strike preferential trade deal
Jakarta, May 23 (EFE).- The leaders of Indonesia and Iran on Tuesday penned a preferential trade deal to boost economic ties between both nations.
Speaking after the signing ceremony, Indonesian President Joko Widodo said the agreement would help increase bilateral trade between Jakarta and Tehran.
Trade flows between both nations currently stand at around $250 million.
“In the 70 years since the establishment of diplomatic relations, the two countries have always had good interactions in various political, economic, commercial, regional and international fields,” Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi told reporters.
“Today, the officials of the two countries signed several documents for cooperation in various fields, which shows their determination to develop relations in all fields,” Raisi added, before confirming that all trade flows would be conducted with “national currencies”.
The preferential deal will include a reduction in tariff rates on a long list of Indonesian products including processed foods, pharmaceuticals, rubber, paper, textiles, wood and vehicles, among others. Iranian exports such as mineral fuels, oil and its derivatives will also benefit from tax cuts.
Raisi’s visit to Indonesia comes at a time of strained relations with Western nations amid sweeping sanctions over Tehran’s nuclear program. Iran has also faced international criticism over its clampdown on recent protests calling for broader freedoms and over its sale of Shahed drones to Moscow which Russia has used in its ongoing war in Ukraine.
But Raisi was defiant on Tuesday saying: “Sanctions and threats have not been able to stop Iran in any way.”
The Iranian leader also called on Muslim nations to cooperate and communicate with each other and pledged Iran’s support for the people of Palestine.
“Developing relations with Indonesia, as one of the important and effective countries in Asia and the world, which is a member of important regional and international organizations, is very important for Iran,”. Raisi added.EFE