Kyrgyzstan urges direct flights with Iran to increase bilateral trade
12 May 2019 - Resumption of direct flights between Tehran and Bishkek will allow Iran and the Central Asian country to upgrade their bilateral ties within a Free Trade Zone between the Eurasian Economic Union and Iran.
Kyrgyzstan has called for launching direct flights between Bishkek and Tehran as the two countries seek to increase their bilateral economic relations within the framework of Eurasian Economic Union.
“Given the necessity to develop bilateral relations between Iran and Kyrgyzstan, it’s necessary that direct flights be established between the twocountries,” said Kyrgyz Ambassador to Iran Avazbek Abdurazakov last Sunday.
He was meeting Gholam Hossein Shafei, President of Iran Chamber of Commerce, Industries, Mines and Agriculture (ICCIMA).
“If there were such a direct flight, bilateral relations would develop more,” he added, expressing regret that Iranian and Kyrgyz businessmen and women have to arrive in Bishkek and Tehran through third countries.
The Kyrgyz envoy stressed that officials from both Iran and the Central Asian nation are taking measures to resume direct flights.
He urged the Iranian private sector parliament to support the Kyrgyz actions to resume such flight.
Abdurazakov added the Kyrgyz government has guaranteed the fifth freedom for all the airlines that are operating in the country’s airspace.
The fifth freedom allows an airline to carry revenue traffic between foreign countries as a part of services connecting the airline's own country. It is the right to carry passengers from one's own country to a second country, and from that country onward to a third country (and so on).
The ICCIMA president highlighted the fact that the Iranian parliament is disuccing the creation of a Free Trade Zone (FTZ) with the five-member Eurasian Economic Unión (EAEU), saying direct flights between Tehran and Bishkek can help upgrade economic ties.
“The Iranian private sector will support such an effort to re-establish direct flights between Iran and Kyrgyzstan as many Iranian businessmen will want to travel to the country,” Shafei added.
Bilateral trade between Tehran and Bishkek has hit more than 44 million dollars, according to Iran Ambassador to Kyrgyzstan Ali Mojtaba Ruzbehani.
A government bill to allow the creation a free trade zone between Iran and the Eurasian Economic Union was cleared at a parliamentary commission early March, driving it a step closer to a final approval by lawmakers.
“The bill on preliminary agreement on the creation of a free trade zone between Iran and the Eurasian Economic Union was studied at the commission in the presence of Energy Minister [Reza Ardakanian] and later approved by the parliament’s National Security and Foreign Policy Commission,” said Ali Najafi Khoshrudi, a spokesman for the commission said in March.
Last May the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU), comprised of Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Armenia agreed to create a free trade zone with Iran. Later in November, Russian President Vladimir Putin ratified the decision.
The decision allows Iran entrance into the free trade zone during a 3-year trial period and gives it unlimited access to the five countries’ markets.