Iran, Kazakhstan explore avenues of mutual economic cooperation

May 23, 2022 - 15:35

TEHRAN – A high-ranking delegation from Kazakhstan headed by the country’s Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Trade and Integration Bakhyt Sultanov has visited Iran with the aim of exploring new opportunities for the expansion of economic relations between the two countries.

During their stay in Tehran, the Kazakh delegates held several meetings with senior Iranian officials including Industry, Mining, and Trade Minister Reza Fatemi-Amin, Governor of the Central Bank of Iran (CBI) Ali Saleh-Abadi, and Managing Director of National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) Mohsen Khojasteh-Mehr.

Pursuing joint investment

The Kazakh delegation first visited the industry ministry to discuss mutual cooperation in industrial areas with Fatemi-Amin.

In this meeting, the Iranian minister stressed the significance of the joint investment for the expansion of economic relations between the two countries, saying: “By the strengthening of economic relations between the two countries and the collaboration of Iranian and Kazakh companies, deeper, more stable and broader relations will be formed.”

“Kazakhstan is a mineral-rich country and, like Iran, has large mining companies, and we can meet part of our needs for steel sheets from Kazakhstan,” Fatemi-Amin said, suggesting that Iran could also cooperate with Kazakhstan in other areas like home appliances, medical equipment, and pharmaceutical industries.

Sultanov, in his turn, emphasized the possibility of strengthening the trans-Caspian corridor using Iran's logistics facilities, and said: “Given Iran’s capabilities and capabilities, the country could become Kazakhstan's transit hub in the region.”

Cooperation in energy sector

Later on, the Kazakh party was received by the NIOC head and the officials of the two countries held talks on strengthening bilateral energy cooperation.

During this gathering, Khojasteh-Mehr pointed to the long history of cooperation between Iran and Kazakhstan in the field of energy and said that Iran intends to activate the potential capacities between the two states in this sector.

Referring to Kazakhstan's willingness to cooperate with Iran’s oil industry, he added that experts from the two countries are expected to examine the areas of cooperation in various fields, including oil, gas, and petrochemical industries.

“The outcome of the investigations conducted by the experts of the two countries will eventually lead to a memorandum of understanding between Iran and Kazakhstan which will be hopefully signed during the visit of the president of Kazakhstan to Tehran,” the NIOC head said.

He highlighted that currently, Iran and Kazakhstan have positive cooperation in the fields of transportation and agriculture, adding that the two states are taking the necessary steps to also use the joint capacities in the field of energy.

Expansion of banking relations

During his stay in Tehran, Sultanov and his accompanying delegation attended a meeting with Governor of the Central Bank of Iran (CBI) Ali Saleh-Abadi, in which the two sides discussed issues related to the banking relations between the two countries.

Speaking in this meeting, Saleh-Abadi referred to the close economic relations between the two countries and stressed: "Development of economic cooperation and expansion of banking relations between Iran and Kazakhstan are complementary and we welcome the readiness of Kazakhstan to increase banking and trade relations with Iran."

He further emphasized the economic and banking capacities of Iran and Kazakhstan, saying: "With the expansion of banking relations between the two countries, economic cooperation will also increase and reach the desired point."

Sultanov for his part referred to the official visit of his country’s president to Tehran in mid-June and said: "I have come to Tehran on the personal order of the president to explore various areas for the development and expansion of economic, trade and banking cooperation between Kazakhstan and Iran."

Underlining Kazakhstan's readiness for developing economic relations with the Islamic Republic of Iran, the official said: "Very good agreements have been concluded in recent months between the various economic sectors and the private sectors of the two countries so that the volume of trade and economic exchanges between Iran and Kazakhstan has grown by 50 percent over the last three months to $200 million.”

He further mentioned the 85-percent increase in trade exchanges between the two countries last year, saying: "Before the pandemic, the volume of economic exchanges between Iran and Kazakhstan was over one billion dollars, and returning to this level of cooperation and even exceeding it is also on the agenda of Kazakhstan.”

EF/MA

Photo: Kazakh high-ranking delegation headed by the country’s Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Trade and Integration Bakhyt Sultanov visit Iranian Industry, Mining and Trade Minister Reza Fatemi-Amin in Tehran on Monday.

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