The Improved Relations Between Tajikistan and Iran Can Lead to a Significant Simplification of Mutual Trade


EastFruit analysts draw attention to a clear warming in relations between Iran and Tajikistan. During the visit of the Iranian President to Tajikistan that took place in early November this year, memorandums of understanding were signed in the field of transport, free economic zones, cooperation in the fight against drugs, and even a memorandum of understanding on exemption of visas for holders of foreign passports for citizens of both countries. 

This, according to experts, can lead to a significant simplification of mutual trade, impacting the horticultural business, because for both countries the fruit and vegetable sector is an important source of export revenues.

Before this, relations between Iran and Tajikistan were quite cold, and mutual trade remained minimal.  Experts note that if the situation changes, Iran will be able to increase exports to Tajikistan of such goods as greenhouse vegetables, fresh apples, nuts, and, given the recent damage to vineyards from winter frosts in 2022, it is possible that Iran will be able to supply fresh grapes to the market of Tajikistan.  Also, recently the level of interest in kiwifruit has been growing in Tajikistan, so Iran may be able benefit from this opportunity.

Most important factor, however, is access to the global ocean for Tajikistan via the ports of Iran. Tajikistan is a landlocked country and presently almost all imports of vegetables and fruits into Tajikistan go through Russian ports, which is much more expensive than importing through Iranian ports.  Therefore, it is possible that improved relations with Iran will help increase imports of bananas and other fruits that are not grown in Tajikistan.  Also, the geography of imports could change.

Technological transfer is also likely to intensify greatly.  Iran has a rather advanced modern production of fruits and vegetables compared to Tajikistan. Thus, nursery plants of fruit and nut trees, such as apples, cherries and other stonefruits, pistachios, walnuts, almonds and others could be shipped from Iran to Tajikistan, creating competition to supplies from Turkiye and Serbia.

Iranian fruit growing consultants will also be able to travel to Tajikistan without visas, which should definitely help improve the efficiency of fruit growing in the country.  Indeed, in Tajikistan, according to EastFruit, there is a critical level of knowledge deficit about modern technologies for growing and processing fruits, berries, and nuts.  At the same time, it is very important that there will be no significant language barrier between countries for the transfer of this knowledge.

As for Tajikistan, one should not expect a significant increase in the exports of fruits and vegetables from this country to the Iranian market, since both countries grow a similar range of crops, but production in Iran is much more developed.

Therefore, at the moment we see yet another confirmation of Russia’s use of trade as a tool of political pressure on independent countries, which allows it to once again confirm its status as one of the most unreliable trading partners in the world.

Source: Asia Plus