Iranian and Indian officials have reached agreement to barter Iranian crude oil for Indian textile machinery, the Mehr News Agency reported. "Iran is a major exporter of crude oil to India. The two countries have reached agreements to barter Iranian crude oil for Indian textile machinery," Mehr quoted Iranian Trade Promotion Organization deputy director Reza Tofiqi as saying on Wednesday.
On Sunday, around 60 leading companies held an exclusive textile exhibition in Tehran. Indian deputy minister of textiles, Mrs. Zohra Chatterji, attended the exhibition. She said that Iran is currently importing 13 percent of its needed textile machinery from India, but the figure could double in the future.
India is looking to broaden its range of exports to Iran to help balance bilateral trade under an agreement that allows the countries to bypass Western sanctions, Indian industry and government officials said.
India is one of the largest buyers of Iran's crude oil and so far, 85%-90% of India's exports to Iran has been agricultural products such as basmati rice and soymeal. But now, India plans to also export products such as textiles, pharmaceuticals, medical-diagnostic equipment, auto components and consumer goods.
"We are looking at diversification of our exports," said Ajai Sahai, director general of the Federation of Indian Export Organization.
Last year, India and Iran entered into an agreement in which India would pay for about half of its crude oil imports from the Middle Eastern country in Indian rupees instead of U.S. dollars. The move followed U.S. sanctions that have shut down the global financial system for Iranian crude trade.
But the value of India's exports to Iran is far lower than the value of its imports. India exported $2.95 billion worth of goods to Iran last year, while its imports from Iran totaled around $11 billion.
India's imports from Iran, which mainly comprise crude oil, are expected to fall to around $10 billion this financial year because of a decline in oil prices.
Mr. Sahai said the trade organization aims to raise the value of Indian exports to Iran to around $4.5 billion to $5.0 billion in this financial year.
Source: Tehran Times .
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