29 Feb 2024 10:31

Russia, Iran expand cooperation in energy sector, auto industry, pharma

TEHRAN. Feb 29 (Interfax) - Russia and Iran signed a number of documents following a meeting of their commission for trade and economic cooperation that will facilitate the development of cooperation, and growth and diversification of bilateral trade, the Russian government said in a press release.

Russia's Economic Development Ministry and Iran's Supreme Council for Free Trade, Industrial and Special Economic Zones signed a memorandum of understanding on development of free trade and economic zones, which "will open up new prospects for localizing production and creating joint ventures," the release said.

Projects are being implemented in Iran in the area of oil and gas production, nuclear power plant construction (Bushehr), and construction of transport and logistics infrastructure (Rasht-Astara railway), Russian Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak, who co-chairs the commission, said.

"There is great potential for cooperation in the field of energy. In May 2023 we agreed on a roadmap for scientific and technical cooperation in the oil and gas sector in 21 areas. Now the time has already come to supplement the roadmap taking into account new challenges. It's important to use already existing possibilities as effectively as possible, but it's even more important to jointly develop new products and services," an Interfax correspondent reported Novak as saying.

Iranian Petroleum Minister Javad Owji said Russian colleagues have welcomed the creation of a gas hub in Iran with the participation of other exporters - Russia, Turkmenistan and Qatar, and this project is now being discussed. Iran has the necessary infrastructure for transportation and platform for discussing the gas hub, he said.

In the energy sector, the countries signed a roadmap for science and technology cooperation in power generation that envisages expanded cooperation between the two countries' electric power companies in fields such as energy efficiency, digital transformation of power grids, and localizing production of components and equipment for generating facilities, the Russian government said.

A protocol was also signed to amend the roadmap for science and technology cooperation in the oil and gas industry, which involves expanding practical cooperation between companies in 21 areas, such as standardizing equipment, facilitating digital transformation and increasing the efficiency of existing production facilities.

"In the field of pharmaceuticals, a number of Russian companies are working with Iranian partners, including for joint production of drugs. We welcome the joint initiative of Russian-Iranian businesses to develop cooperation in the area of manufacturing medical products, including on localizing the full production cycle for medical equipment and consumables for hemodialysis in Russia," Novak said.

In the auto industry, "progress on issues of motor vehicle certification should become an important step," Novak said. There are plans to sign an agreement between Russian state automotive company NAMI and Iranian engineering company Pishran Sanaat Modares in order to step up cooperation.