By Hanie Khakpour

Parliament is ready to help the private sector, so should be the government: MP

August 11, 2020 - 17:42

TEHRAN- Since starting its job, the new parliament of Iran has announced in different occasions as being ready to confirm comprehensive packages proposed by the private sector to expand economic exchanges during hard times of pandemic, global economic depression and unilateral sanctions.

The parliament has also called on the government, especially the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to strengthen itself in the field of economic diplomacy.

The 11th parliament seeks to present contemporary effective measures in variety of fields regarding the motto of "paying attention to the people’s economic climate."

"The Economic Committee of the Parliament has suggested to the members of the Chamber of Commerce to provide a comprehensive proposal for expanding the economic exchanges in the market of target countries to turn into a practical law in this field," Mehdi Toghyani, Spokesman for the Economic Committee of the Parliament told the Tehran Times.

“Iran must establish trade centers in target markets to collect crucial economic information regarding the opportunities of investment in foreign markets for obtaining economic benefits for the country,” he explained.

According to the MP, the pivotal points of this proposal are: management of these centers by the private sector and creating a competition among the chambers of commerce of large cities to find a suitable market for investment in target countries. 

Toghyani believes due to the absence of an influential and adequate structure in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, our presence in many international markets is based on businessmen's experiences, not on an organized cohesive structure like other active countries. "Therefore, we have suggested to the Chamber of Commerce to comment on how Iran can activate its capabilities in neighboring countries, other countries in the region, Africa or elsewhere." Toghyani highlighted.

The official expressed hope that either by passing a bill in the parliament or forming a procedure in the chamber of Commerce, the country would determine the duties of other units of the country regarding the subject.

On the other hand, another member of parliament, referred to Iran's geopolitical situation as a major power point for boosting trade with neighboring countries. "Our country has extraordinary sea and land borders so that 16 provinces are adjacent to neighboring countries," Fada Hossein Maleki, a member of the Economic Committee told the Tehran Times. 

"Unfortunately, this capacity has not been utilized properly so far," he went on to say. Maleki also explained once these borders are activated, most of the economic issues in the bordering provinces will be solved. 

The new approach towards trade with regional countries is also embraced by the government so that the Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif emphasized on activating the economic diplomacy in the national security and foreign policy Committee of the Parliament. 

Emphasizing on launching cross-border trade with different countries, Maleki called "border market" as a proper economic space for the people living in border areas. "While Iran and Pakistan can have 5 billion dollars in economic exchanges, the number is only 1 billion dollars at the moment. This is not acceptable and border markets should be activated as soon as possible," this lawmaker said.