Following a meeting with Iran's Communications Minister Mahmoud Vaizi on Wednesday in Ankara, Cevdet Yilmaz said: "The relationship between Iran and Turkey has a deep root. We are trying to reflect this good relationship in the economic field."
The two Muslim neighbors have been trying to boost trade ties in recent years. Iran is one of main natural gas suppliers to Turkey, after Russia.
Yilmaz claimed that the economic potential of the two countries is very high: “We are working on new cooperation in several areas to achieve a $30 billion trade target.”
According to Yilmaz, bilateral trade stood at $11.3 billion in the first 10 months of last year and more than $1.3 billion was invested inside Iran by 174 Turkish companies.
According to Turkish officials, trade between Turkey and Iran stood at $22 billion in 2012 before dipping to $14.5 billion in the following year due to economic sanctions imposed on Tehran.
Yilmaz added that Turkey wants a free trade agreement with its neighbor following a preferential trade agreement, which was signed in 2014 and which came into force on January this year.
Vaizi said his country agreed to conduct trade with Turkey in their local currencies, adding that there needed to be a solution to cross-border trucking problems and a new railway line.
The transit fee for trucks has lately become a sticking point between Turkey and Iran. Turkey's trucks use Iranian territory to export goods to Central Asia. Recently, Ankara increased transit fees for Iranian trucks when Tehran hiked its own rates for Turkish vehicles.
Tehran required that Turkish trucks seal their fuel tanks when in Iran in early December of last year as fuel prices are much lower in the Islamic Republic due to state subsidies.
Tehran later suspended this sealing of fuel tanks after talking with Turkish officials on Dec.10.