Ground is prepared to export $5b technical, engineering services, Safari says

Foreign Ministry official highlights Iran’s transit opportunities

November 26, 2021 - 21:22

TEHRAN – The Deputy Foreign Minister for Economic Diplomacy said late on Thursday that Iran enjoys transit advantage over neighboring countries, noting that there have been talks about transit of goods from Central Asia and the Caucasus to southern Iran and vice versa.

For example, Mehdi Safari said, the North-South corridor connects Central Asian states of Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, and Tajikistan to the Oman Sea in southern Iran.

Safari also noted, “Iran's transport minister and the ministers of transport of these countries had talks in this regard and made agreements to activate this corridor and these countries can send their goods to other countries through Iranian ports in the Persian Gulf and the Sea of Oman and vice versa.

These countries can export their goods to the desired destinations via various transportation mechanisms, such as trucks, ships, and railways.

Referring to a Kyrgyz official's visit to Iran in this regard, he said that the Kyrgyz official and the accompanying delegation went to the Iranian ports and found a place to store their goods, and soon mutual travels by rail and truck will increase by %50.

30/40 percent increase in export and import to and from Iraq

According to Fars, the deputy foreign minister also spoke about cooperation with the Caucasus countries in the last two months, saying, “Following the problems we had with Armenia and the Republic of Azerbaijan, decisions were made regarding our transportation facilities as well as transportation of export goods through the Caspian Sea and the work is now being done smoothly.”

Safari added that Iranian exports and imports from neighboring countries, especially in the East and the West, have grown very well.

He cited Iraq as an example, saying that the trade level with Iraq has increased by 30 to 40 percent. 

“We hope this rate will increase to 70% by the end of the year,” the diplomat added. 

The former ambassador to Russia also touched on issues about the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) countries, saying, “We had close cooperation with the Ministries of Agriculture and Industry about the Commonwealth of Independent States countries and delegations negotiated the barriers holding back export due to quarantine and other customs issues. We talked to our counterparts in these two ministries and the problems have been solved and we had an increase in exports to Central Asia, Iraq and Pakistan, during which we saw a 30 to 40 percent increase in exports over the past two months, and we hope our exports to neighboring countries will increase to 50% by the end of the year.”

The current Iranian year will end on March 20, 2022.

He also talked about the country's capabilities in the field of exporting technical and engineering services, saying that Iran has held many meetings regarding the export of technical and engineering services, especially with neighboring countries, with particular importance attached to the neighboring countries in the West and Central Asia.

The career diplomat said there is a very good atmosphere to achieve this goal.

“We were able to get good projects in the field of dams and roads, steel factories, and so on.” he explained.

The Iranian diplomat noted that in Iraq, new projects were undertaken in the two northern parts of the country in building dams and stadiums. 

“Of course, there were obstacles in the field of providing guarantees, which we are trying to remove through the Ministry of Industry and the banks and the central bank. It has been solved to some extent, and for larger projects, we are looking to solve this problem completely,” Safari noted. 

He also reminded that Iran’s assessment is to export technical and engineering services up to four and five billion dollars to neighboring and African countries.

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