Iran and Venezuela have launched a direct shipping route to enhance trade ties amid U.S. sanctions, the Iranian embassy in Caracas announced in a statement released on Friday.
According to the statement, the route seeks to facilitate the interaction between traders in both countries, Mehr News Agency reported.
Appreciating the efforts of the Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Lines (IRISL), the embassy said a cargo ship will leave Iran for Venezuela every three months.
The IRISL said last week that a ship carrying Iranian goods will head to Venezuela in May.
In late December 2022, the state-owned shipping company had notified Iranian authorities and the chambers of commerce of the country, expressing readiness to create a regular shipping line to export Iranian commodities to Venezuela.
Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro made an official visit to Iran in June 2022, inking a 20-year partnership agreement aimed at improving bilateral cooperation in various fields such as technology, agriculture, oil and gas, petrochemicals, tourism as well as culture.
On June 12, 2022, Iranian Ambassador to Venezuela Hojatollah Soltani described the direct shipping line as a “lost chain” in ties between the two states, saying that it could lead to a “major transformation” in bilateral relations.
The economies of Iran and Venezuela are complementary as Venezuela is in need of home appliances, petrochemical products, raw materials, medicine, and medical equipment, all of which are being produced in Iran, he noted, adding that Venezuela has a great capacity in agriculture.
The growing cooperation was also highlighted in the ninth meeting of the Iran-Venezuela Joint Economic Committee which was held in Tehran on November 15, 2022.
Co-chaired by Venezuelan Transport Minister Ramon Blazquez and Iranian Defense Minister Mohammadreza Gharaei Ashtiani, the three-day event explored new avenues for mutual cooperation.
At the end of the meeting, the two sides inked a comprehensive cooperation document covering a variety of areas including industry, mining, energy, petrochemical, trade, agriculture, science, and technology.