Iran-ALBA seminar held in Tehran

December 21, 2008 - 0:0

TEHRAN – Iran and ALBA member states held their first joint congress for the expansion of industrial and economic cooperation in Tehran on Saturday.

The Bolivarian Alternative for the People of Our America (Spanish: Alternativa Bolivariana para los Pueblos de Nuestra America or ALBA) is an international organization that was established to promote the idea of social, political, and economic integration between the countries of Latin America and the Caribbean.
The congress has been organized to discover avenues for strengthening Iran-ALBA ties and implementing bilateral and multilateral projects.
Cuba, Venezuela, Nicaragua, Bolivia, Honduras, Dominica, Antigua and Barbuda, and St. Vincent and the Grenadines are full members of ALBA and Ecuador is an associate member.
Trade with Latin American countries currently makes up only 2 to 3 percent of Iran’s foreign trade exchanges, which analysts say could be increased to 15 percent.
Iranian First Vice President Parviz Davoudi told the seminar that Iran and ALBA can use their abundant potential for the benefit of Latin American nations.
For example, about 200 cooperation agreements have been singed between Iran and Venezuela, and the value of non-oil sector economic cooperation between the two countries is estimated to be $4 billion, he added.
“The economies of Iran and Latin American countries can complement each other,” Davoudi noted.
He went on to say that 120 Iranian companies are active outside the country, and Iran is currently implementing 360 projects in 40 countries.
The first vice president also said that global oil and gas consumption has increased by 64 percent and the Western world is becoming even more dependent on energy.
Iran and Latin American countries possess about one fifth of the world’s proven oil and gas reserves, and the global arrogance (the United States) is making strenuous efforts to take control of these reserves to impose its will on the rest of the world, including Europe, Davoudi asserted.
Venezuela, Cuba, Ecuador, Nicaragua, Bolivia, and Dominica displayed their products at the Tehran Permanent Fairgrounds in a trade fair connected to the seminar that opened on Wednesday with the participation of 81 companies from the abovementioned countries.
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad visited the fair on Saturday.
Countering global financial crisis
Iranian Minister of Industries and Mines Ali Akbar Mehrabian told the participants of the congress that one of the ways to counter the global financial crisis is to strengthen cooperation between independent countries.
Mehrabian called the seminar a good example of cooperation between independent states.
In light of its geostrategic location, Iran can act as a transit route for trade between Latin American countries and the countries of the Middle East, Central Asia, and the Caucasus region, he added