TEHRAN (Tasnim) – As the interim nuclear deal between Iran and the G5+1 has given rise to optimism that the western sanction would eventually be lifted, representatives from some Chinese firms and investment agencies are in Tehran to look into ways of cooperating with Iran.
In a joint session attended by representatives from foreign investment organization of Iran and Chinese companies and investment agencies, as well as China’s ambassador to Iran, the sides explored investment opportunities in different sectors of Iran’s economy and discussed ways of bolstering bilateral cooperation.
The Chinese ambassador referred to the rising trend of trade ties between Iran and China, saying, “In recent years ties between the two countries — particularly in trade and economic fields — have increased remarkably and given the fact that a new government is in charge in Iran, further improvement of economic ties, especially foreign direct investment, is on our agenda.”
Hossein Khodayari, an official with the Organization for Investment Economic and Technical Assistance of Iran, stressed the importance of improving relations between the two countries, especially in the field on investment, arguing that “given the potentials and various incentives available in the Iranian market, the Chinese investments in the country will be profitable and attractive.”
In recent years Iran-China trade has grown steadily commensurate with China’s growing reliance on foreign energy and Western companies leaving the Iranian market.
By 2007 China had replaced the EU as Iran’s largest trading partner and the two sides had pledged to more than double their annual bilateral trade to US $100 billion by 2016.
China’s energy companies had been particularly aggressive in replacing their western counterparts in developing Iran’s oil and natural gas.
Iran has also huge potentials for attracting investment to its energy sector which has been under US-led sanctions for years. The country has also enormous mineral resources such as coal, copper, iron, zinc and gold which can attract foreign investment.
The country has the advantage of a broad domestic industrial base, an educated and motivated workforce, cheap labor and energy resources and geographical location, which gives it access to Caspian markets, Persian Gulf states and countries to its east and west.
And the landscape for foreign investment looks promising as there are indications that after years of confrontation, Iran and the West are likely to put their relations on the track to normalization.
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