Keen to remove restrictions on banking with India, says Iran at World Trade Organization summit

Anand Sharma, WTO, Anand Sharma WTO, WTO Anand SharmaIndia's trade minister Anand Sharma speaks during a plenary session of the ninth World Trade Organization (WTO) Ministerial Conference in Nusa Dua. Reuters

Iran is keen to remove restrictions on banking with India and is hopeful the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) will address the issue as the two countries try to increase trade, particularly oil imports.

Trade without removing banking restrictions will not grow..., we can have more trade (only) if this is solved. The Indian government should facilitate it" said Iran's industry minister Mohammad Reza Nematzadeh.

The issue is understood to have been discussed in bilateral talks on Wednesday between commerce and industry minister Anand Sharma and Nematzadeh on the sidelines of the World Trade Organization summit.

This is the first meeting between the two countries after Iran struck a compromise with the US and five other superpowers on its nuclear programme.

Sources said India's bilateral talk with Iran focussed on its need to maintain energy security and acquisition of oil fields as well as its strategic position that allows connectivity to Central Asia and Afghanistan.

The minister is also hopeful that the issue of sanctions on Iranian shipping companies with Iranian insurance will soon be "resolved" and further help trade between the two countries.

India is Iran's second largest crude oil importer. Trade between the two countries touched $ 15.8 billion in 2012 with imports from Iran consisting of a major chunk at $ 13.27 billion.

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