IRNA – Iran says it has proposed more than 300 investment projects as part of China’s ambitious One Belt-One Road initiative.
Iranian Economy Minister Farhad Dejpasand said the Iranian delegation that is taking part in the Belt and Road Forum in Beijing, has introduced 313 investment opportunities in a bid to seal cooperation with China and other foreign investors worth $50 billion.
“We should be able to activate our potentials through foreign investment as well as internal financing,” Dezpasand told IRNA on Saturday, stressing that these projects are related to road, rail and port transport.
Some of the many corridors that go through the region pass Iran so we need to be able to use these opportunities the best we can, he added.
The Iranian official noted that Iran can link China to the 300-million-strong region as some of the terrestrial routes pass through the country and its 15 neighbours.
‘Due to Iran’s strategic location, the benefit from such corridors is way more than their costs and many investors are ready to put their money in such aspects and other areas such as petrochemicals, oil and gas, industry and mining,’ the minister said.
At least 157 nations and international organizations have signed up with plans, including roads and power plants in Pakistan, and a high-speed rail line in Indonesia.
China’s second Belt and Road Forum started on Thursday. The three-day forum is meant to promote Chinese leader Xi Jinping’s ‘project of the century’, a foreign policy initiative launched in 2013 to revive ancient trading routes between Asia and Europe, as well as build new links in the Middle East, Africa, and South America.
Delegations from 110 countries are taking part in the conference. Iran is also represented by its Economy Minister Dejpasand, Inspection Organization Of Iran Chief Naser Qazi Seraj as well as former lawmaker Qolam Ali Haddad Adel.
The Old Silk Road passed through Iran some 2000 years ago. In its heyday, paper, gunpowder, porcelain and spices were transported to the west; horses, woolen rugs and blankets, gold, silver and glass made the return journey.
‘Iran also shares the framework of this idea based on its previous record,’ Dejpasand noted, stressing that Iran showcased investment opportunities for Chinese and other foreign investors at this forum.