1017 GMT August 18, 2018
Following UAE being towed away by Saudi Arabia in adopting anti-Iran policies, Tehran has decided to shift its exports hub from the UAE to Oman and Qatar, Xinhua reported.
Iran is working to limit trade ties with the UAE, because the Persian Gulf state has put pressure on Iranian traders, mostly over value-added tax, visa issuance and banking restrictions.
Earlier this month, the Central Bank of Iran pointed out several obstacles created by UAE banks for Iranian merchants, adding Iran is seeking alternatives in the region to replace the UAE in its banking transactions with Iran.
In the meantime, Iran's relations with Oman and Qatar are growing and it is proposed that they replace the UAE as the main trade hub for Iran, Hossein Yaqoubi, deputy governor of the CBI for international affairs, was quoted saying.
Besides, Adnan Musapour, head of Iran-Qatar Chamber of Commerce, said that Qatar and Oman have the potential to facilitate Iran's trade with the world.
"But we should not cut off our trade ties with the UAE... The Persian Gulf state was our only trade gateway during the sanctions. The latest data released by Islamic Republic of Iran Customs Administration showed that trade between Iran and the UAE reached $12.9 billion in 2017."
A report however said, "Iran's exports to Qatar reached $215 million during the 11 months to February 20 — significantly higher than the previous year's $92 million. Also, the import from Qatar experienced a 157 percent growth during the 10 months to January 21, with the value of imports at $21 million."