Indian exporters have written to the Reserve Bank of India to expedite clearances for Iranian banks that have applied to open branches in India.

“We have asked the RBI to expedite clearance of the applications given by Iranian banks to open up branches. The Commerce Ministry is also supporting us. Once banks from both countries open their branches in the other country, bilateral trade will shoot up,” said Ajay Sahai, director general of FIEO, reported.

A delegation of business persons from Iran, representing a number of sectors such as textiles, clothing, fruits and vegetables, dates, live animals and bitumen, are in India to hold meetings with Indian businesses.

“We believe that such business-to-business meetings will help increase trade between the two countries. We also hope that banks will get the relevant permissions soon to open branches,” said Ali Raoufi, deputy governor of Hormozgan Province who is leading the Iranian delegation.

Bank Pasargad, Saman Bank, Parsian Bank, Bank Mellat and Persia International Bank PLC have applied for setting up branches in India, some of which submitted their applications almost five years ago.

Sahai noted that the Commerce Ministry is also in talks with the Iranian government for allowing at least two Indian banks—SBI and UCO—to set up branches in Iran.

“IDBI could also apply for opening a branch in the country,” he said. Following the lifting of economic sanctions against Iran by the United Nations and several western countries and blocs, including the EU, the two countries are hoping that normalized relations would help boost business.

India’s exports to Iran that increased to $5 billion in 2014-15 fell to $2.8 billion the following year. Both sides are hopeful that bilateral trade will increase from the present $9 billion to $12 billion over the next two years.

Source » financialtribune