(MENAFN) In a bid to strengthen their economic ties amid US sanctions, Iran and Venezuela have launched a direct shipping route, according to a statement released by the Iranian embassy in Caracas on Friday. The aim of the route is to facilitate interaction between traders in both countries and enhance bilateral cooperation in various fields, including technology, agriculture, oil and gas, petrochemicals, tourism, and culture. The embassy praised the efforts of the Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Lines (IRISL) and said that a cargo ship will leave Iran for Venezuela every three months.
The state-owned IRISL had expressed readiness to create a regular shipping line to export Iranian commodities to Venezuela in late December 2022, and last week announced that a ship carrying Iranian goods would head to Venezuela in May. This announcement follows the visit of Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro to Iran in June 2022, during which a 20-year partnership agreement was signed to improve bilateral cooperation.
The direct shipping line is considered a "lost chain" in ties between the two states, according to Iranian Ambassador to Venezuela Hojatollah Soltani, and could lead to a "major transformation" in bilateral relations. The economies of the two countries are complementary, with Venezuela in need of home appliances, petrochemical products, raw materials, medicine, and medical equipment, all of which are produced in Iran. Venezuela also has a great capacity in agriculture.
The ninth meeting of the Iran-Venezuela Joint Economic Committee held in Tehran on November 15, 2022, highlighted the growing cooperation between the two countries. The new shipping route is expected to further enhance trade ties between Iran and Venezuela, despite the US sanctions imposed on both countries. However, it remains to be seen how this development will impact the wider geopolitical landscape in the region.
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