Iranian Minister of Industry, Mine and Trade Reza Rahmani highlighted the important role of North-South Corridor in promoting trade and economic and trade exchanges between countries in the north of Iran and south of Persian Gulf and North African countries. .

According to IRNA, Rahmani made the remarks at a meeting with Uzbekistan Minister of Investment and Foreign Trade Sardor Umurzakov in the Uzbek capital of Tashkent late on December 11.

Iranian minister reportedly stressed that implementation of the North-South Corridor trade and economic capacities will connect countries in the north of Iran to those located in its south by the Persian Gulf and North African thus giving rise to new opportunities for boosting trade cooperation among the countries.

“Iran is ready to create a transit route for transferring goods from these countries to Uzbekistan without any limitation,” Rahmani said.

There are rare capacities for boosting cooperation, he said, hoping that the 13th Iran-Uzbekistan Joint Cooperation Summit will be a turning point for enhancing mutual cooperation.

The way is clear for boosting economic collaboration with Uzbekistan, Rahmani said, noting that signing preferential trade tariff memorandum of understanding will pave the way for further improving cooperation.

"We are planning to set up a direct flight line between Iran and Uzbekistan in a permanent manner, and use national currencies in financial transactions," Iranian minister said.

Earlier, during a recent conference in Tehran, Rahmani said that Iran as a member state of the North-South Transport Corridor will interlink the Caspian states to the Central Asian nations to boost trade relations between Caspian Sea littoral states in the north and the Central Asian countries in the south.

In a statement delivered at the 13th meeting of Iran-Uzbekistan Joint Cooperation Commission, Rahmani noted that presence of 50 Iranian companies at the summit, holding mutual trade conference as well as exclusive exhibition in Tashkent indicates significance of mutual trade and economic collaboration.

Rahmani said that Islamic Republic of Iran attaches significance to broadening of ties with Uzbekistan in all fields.

Over the past years, major documents in the fields of trade, transportation, mutual support to foreign investment have been signed by the two countries some of which have been operationalized, he said.

During the meeting with Uzbek deputy prime minister, Elyor Ganiyev, many cases were agreed upon and necessary actions to be taken to remove problems faced by the transportation sector, according to IRNA.

Rahmani reportedly further noted that good talks have been held for easing issuance of visas for nationals of both countries and Iran is ready for enhancing cooperation in the field.

He also hoped that holding the summit will help take major steps in line with boosting cooperation between the two countries' private and state sectors.

Given cultural, religious and historic commonalities between Iran and Uzbekistan as well as both sides' interest in promoting trade and economic ties, effective steps will hopefully be taken in line with boosting banking collaboration and setting up direct flight.

Rahmani arrived in Tashkent at the head of an economic delegation late on Wednesday.

The International North–South Transport Corridor (INSTC) is a 7,200-kilometer-long multi-mode network of ship, rail, and road route for moving freight between India, Iran, Afghanistan, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Russia, Central Asia and Europe.  The route primarily involves moving freight from India, Iran, Azerbaijan and Russia via ship, rail and road.  The objective of the corridor is to increase trade connectivity between major cities such as Mumbai, Moscow, Tehran, Baku, Bandar Abbas, Astrakhan, Bandar Anzali, etc.