Iranians, Turks may ‘establish joint banks’

Iranians, Turks may ‘establish joint banks’

ISTANBUL - Anatolia News Agency
Iran and Turkey should start working on establishing new banks to support mutual trade, as some companies from the Islamic republic are heading to Turkey to continue their activities due to restrictions they face in Dubai’s banking system, an Iranian business leader told the Anatolia news agency yesterday.

“Iranian companies have begun to head for regions such as Korea, Hong Kong and India, as they have had difficulty in their activities in Dubai. Some of them have come to Turkey. They came to Turkey when their activities were restricted due to the banking system in Dubai,” said Turkish-Iranian Business Association President Hamid Kian.

The number of Turkish companies with Iranian partners is at 554, having risen 53 percent year-on-year in the first seven months of this year. The figure was only 162 in 2010, according to data from the Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges.

Turkish and Iranian businessmen have difficulties in business, particularly stemming from banking, Kian said, adding “If the two countries want to develop trade relations, they need to mutually have many banks. Many Turkish banks should be active in Iran [and vice versa]. … We would like to see the volume of mutual trade reach at least $30 billion. The foremost requirement of mutual trade is a banking system that works well.”

An Iranian official promised to grant a banking license to any Turkish bank which wants to operate in Iran immediately, speaking at a recent meeting with his Turkish counterparts, Kian said, adding that the private sector should step in to establish new banks. Turkey’s exports to its eastern neighbor reached $3.58 billion last year, up from $2.02 billion in 2008, largely due to gold sales, according to official data.