India Reiterates Expansion of Trade Ties with Iran
(FNA)- A senior Indian official on Tuesday said New Delhi was keen to boost commercial ties with Iran, possibly with a preferential trade agreement which has been under discussion for several years between the two nations.
"It is time to do serious business," Indian commerce ministry joint secretary Arvind Mehta told a 56-member Iranian trade delegation.
"You look East and we will look West to be partners in progress," Mehta said.
The Iranian trade mission arrived on the same day as Clinton to explore commercial opportunities in India after an Indian business delegation visited the Persian Gulf nation in March.
India has been buying around $11 billion worth of oil from Iran a year but sells Tehran just under $3 billion in goods.
India plans to increase its exports to Iran as the Western sanctions campaign against Iran has been troubling dollar and euro payment routes that New Delhi was using to pay for Iranian oil imports.
India and Iran have worked out a deal under which New Delhi will pay for close to half of its Iranian oil imports in rupees. The rupee payments will be used by Iran to purchase Indian goods.