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Tue 21 Jan 2014 02:50 PM

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Dubai-Iran trade to rebound on sanctions relief - official

Dubai Chamber chief expects trade relationship between emirate and Islamic Republic to blossom in 2014

Dubai-Iran trade to rebound on sanctions relief - official
Dubai Chamber CEO Hamad Buamim.

Trade between Dubai and Iran could “rebound” this year on the back of the international community’s easing of sanctions against the Islamic Republic, according to the head of the Gulf emirate’s largest trade body.

An agreement to relieve sanctions was struck in November between Iran and six world powers, including the US, China, Russia and Britain, and is set to come into effect on January 20. The accord will see the Islamic Republic curb parts of its nuclear programme in exchange for access to $4.2bn in foreign exchange and some relief from sanctions on gold, petrochemicals and vehicles.

Iran on Monday said it had stopped enriching uranium at its nuclear facilities at Natanz and Fordo, paving the way for the resumption of some trade relationships.

 “The development of the sanctions is something to watch for in 2014 and they will be eased by international community and this will definitely benefit Dubai,” Dubai Chamber CEO Hamad Buamim told Arabian Business.

“We had strong economic and trade relationships which were dropped especially during the last three years. There will be more developments in the easing [of sanctions], especially in the payments part. This will support the rebound of trade relationships between Dubai and Iran.”

The UAE and Iran remain major trading partners, despite overall trade between the two, excluding oil, falling from AED12.3bn ($3.35bn) between January and June 2012 to AED10.8bn in the same period last year as sanctions took their toll.

Last week, Dubai ruler Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum urged the international community to lift all economic sanctions against Iran.

“Iran is our neighbour and we don’t want any problems,” Sheikh Mohammed, who is also vice president and prime minister of the UAE, said in a televised interview with BBC News.

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