News ID: 319120
Published: 0328 GMT January 01, 2022

Iran’s economic diplomacy aims for national, regional prosperity

Iran’s economic diplomacy aims for national, regional prosperity

By Mehdi Safari*

President Seyyed Ebrahim Raeisi set good-neighborliness and greater cooperation with regional nations as the focal point of his government’s economic diplomacy. He unveiled the approach during his campaign for presidency in 2021, which was warmly welcomed. Soon after taking office, the new Iranian president issued directives, demanding the Foreign Ministry, as the lead entity in charge, and other related organizations and individuals involved in foreign economic policy to draw up plans and set in motion this region-oriented process.

In an address to Parliament in August, Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian said economic diplomacy would make up 40 percent of the government's foreign policy.

Amir-Abdollahian has time and again stressed that he would not tie people’s livelihood to the revival of the 2015 nuclear deal and that Iran would use its boundless God-given potentials to bring all-out prosperity to the country and the region.

Thus, Iran’s economic diplomacy began to shift toward a smart, balanced and purposeful activism with continuous efforts to achieve the country’s legitimate goals and advance national interests with a focus on maximum interaction with neighbors.

Cooperation with neighbors topped the to-do list of the Foreign Ministry’s division for economic diplomacy, and pragmatism has been encouraged to help implement the revolutionary motto of the current Iranian calendar year, set by the Leader of the Islamic Revolution, namely “Production, Support and Elimination of Obstacles”.

As a developed country in various economic sectors, Iran demonstrated its readiness to boost diplomacy and economic cooperation with neighbors during reciprocal visits by senior officials, especially at a recent gathering of the heads of its diplomatic missions in regional countries.

The Foreign Ministry announced that Iran would welcome all forms of trade cooperation with regional nations and that the country had begun to diversify exports and imports with the help of various domestic organizations.

Iran briefed its neighbors on its interest in exchanging science and technology, joint production, cooperation in medical treatment, technical and engineering services, agriculture, etc., as well as orchestrating efforts to break down barriers to foreign trade.

Given the fact that regional peoples are grappling with water shortage and drought, Iran stands ready to cooperate over water supply and water swap.

Through the Foreign Ministry, neighboring nations took notice of Iran’s strategic position to help bring prosperity to the region via developing transit and various corridors as well as energy lines. The ground is now prepared for pursuing this aim.

In this regard, the Foreign Ministry plans to increase the number of entry and exit points for goods, passengers and energy, and diversify targeted exports and imports.

Attracting investment for lucrative projects, investing in various domestic projects, establishing joint ventures with neighboring nations to stimulate production, and increasing the volume of joint production are of critical importance in Iran’s objectives and executive plans.

To maximize the chances for achieving the goals of Iran’s economic diplomacy, Iran is vigorously pursuing to sign mid-term and long-term agreements and treaties with its neighbors; in the near future some good news will be announced in this regard.

We are determined to secure preferential and free trade agreements with other states and implement them through Iran’s diplomatic missions and other relevant organizations.

The taskforce for the coordination of foreign economic relations, in collaboration with other economic organizations of the country, is actively addressing key challenges, making decisions and implementing them in order to help remove obstacles to the export of commodities and services, spur investment, resolve the issue of standardization for exported goods, develop overseas agriculture, and ensure Iran’s food and medication security.

The economic diplomacy division is resolved to ease the country’s foreign trade process through increased cooperation with public and private economic sectors. To achieve this goal, we call on all Iranian parties involved in foreign economy to come to our assistance to overcome the odds for interaction with neighboring countries. 

Bringing economic prosperity in the country and the region is a pragmatic and smart operational plan. Therefore, Iran is fully ready for maximum economic cooperation with its neighbors in various areas of oil, gas, petrochemicals, electricity, water, water supply, agriculture, technical and engineering services, transportation, medical equipment, medicine, tourism, banking and financial transactions as well as developing cooperation between special and free economic zones and neighboring countries.

Fortunately, the policy of maximum trade and economic interaction with neighbors in the limited time since the new Iranian government took office in August has yielded tangible results, the reports of which were given to the public by the president and the foreign minister.

Undoubtedly, the government’s confidence-building policies in the country and the region along with an active economic diplomacy, initiatives, innovations, ongoing ideas and plans will deliver enormous benefits for the peoples of our country and the region.

There is now an opportunity for constructive interaction with neighbors which should be seized. We hope that our neighbors will continue to welcome this approach enthusiastically. It is hoped that the continuation of friendship and cooperation between regional nations and governments will result in the growing prosperity of the region.

*Mehdi Safari is the Iranian foreign minister’s deputy for economic diplomacy



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