(Persia Digest) – The Iranian President is traveling to India today under the auspices of economic ties which have diversified in various sectors, giving this political event a different aura.
IRNA News Agency reports that Hassan Rouhani is traveling to New Delhi for three days at the head of an economic delegation. A trade summit and bilateral meetings between the two countries' economists will be held during the visit.
This official trip takes place on the invitation of the Indian Prime Minister, NarendraModi, who had traveled to Iran for the first time in fourteen years on 23 May 2016.
One of the topics for discussion will be the Iran-Indian cooperation in Chabahar Port. India has been showing an interest in the development of the Port and has already conducted discussions on the subject. An agreement has been signed for a USD 85MM investment by India to manage two piers in the first phase of works in Chabahar Port.
During Mr Modi’s trip to Iran last May, India’s participation and investment in Iran’s oil and gas sector were also discussed. ONGC Videsh Ltd of India has proposed a USD 3BN project to develop the Farzad B offshore gas field, for which Iran also has views for discussion and amendment. Rouhani’s trip to India will provide the opportunity to talk about any outstanding issues to reach a consensus in this gas project.
The central Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has announced that three Iranian banks have applied to open branches in India over the course of the past year. Considering the high volume of trade between the two countries, especially in oil purchases from Iran, banking agreements could be another outcome of the Rouhani trip to India.
Exports from Iran to India over the past eight months have amounted to over USD 1BN and 781MM. This mainly includes oil, natural gas, liquid gas, oil condensate, ammonia, fertilizer, cooking oil, lead, zinc, and alcohol. After China, India is the fourth largest oil consumer in the world and Iran’s second largest oil customer.
Iran imported over USD 1BN and 547MM worth of goods from India over a similar period of time, the most important of which are machinery, rice, tea, aluminum oxide, steel products, and transformer oil.