Domestic Economy

Iran’s Economy Minister Visits Saudi Arabia

Iran’s Economy Minister Visits Saudi Arabia
Iran’s Economy Minister Visits Saudi Arabia

Iranian Minister of Economic Affairs and Finance Ehsan Khandouzi arrived in the Saudi port city of Jeddah at the head of a delegation on Thursday.
The minister is the first Islamic Republic official to visit the Arab country after the recent agreement on resumption of diplomatic relations between Tehran and Riyadh, IRNA reported.
On March 10, Iran and Saudi Arabia issued a joint statement in China, announcing that Tehran and Riyadh would resume diplomatic relations after seven years of tension.
Earlier on Tuesday, Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian said the Islamic Republic will soon send its ambassador to Riyadh. 
Khandouzi said recently Tehran aims to raise annual trade volume with Riyadh to $1 billion in the first step of resuming economic ties.
Speaking at a press conference in Tehran, the economy minister said the target was set by the Trade Promotion Organization of Iran and is based on the two countries' capacities, IRIB News reported.
The minister said TPO has been preparing a roadmap for developing economic relations with Saudi Arabia, adding that it will be finalized soon.
Khandouzi said Iran and Saudi Arabia are determined to resume bilateral interaction and cooperation, and have placed the launch of the joint chamber of commerce is on the agenda, IRNA reported.
He stressed that in the past few years, the two countries have held a total of seven meetings of the joint economic commission and exchanged 20 trade and cooperation documents with each other.
The Iranian minister said the two countries have had no bilateral trade in some years, but in the last Iranian year (March 2021-22), amid the two countries' efforts to ease tensions, the value of Iranian exports to the kingdom reached $15 million.
In a recent meeting in Beijing, Amir-Abdollahian and his Saudi counterpart Prince Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud signed a joint statement, announcing the resumption of diplomatic relations with immediate effect.
Saudi Arabia cut diplomatic ties with Iran in 2016 in response to public attacks on Saudi diplomatic missions in Iran after the kingdom executed a prominent Shia cleric, Xinhua reported.
Iran's Embassy in Saudi Arabia reopened its gates recently for the first time in seven years, Reuters reported.
The diplomatic mission opened hours after the Iranian Foreign Ministry said a technical delegation arrived in the kingdom.
Following political negotiations between Iran and Saudi Arabia, it seems that the ground has been prepared for the resumption of bilateral trade between the two neighboring countries, customs expert Rouhollah Latifi wrote for the Persian daily Ta’adol earlier in January.



Joint Chamber of Commerce

Iran and Saudi Arabia will soon establish a joint chamber of commerce, said a member of Iran Chamber of Commerce’s Board of Directors, Keyvan Kashefi, recently.
Describing the recent normalization of Tehran-Riyadh diplomatic ties as “the main econo-political” breakthrough for Iran in the past month, he said, “The [Iranian] private sector highly welcomes this constructive and positive interaction,” the news portal of Iran Chamber of Commerce reported.
He added that financial markets’ return to stability was one of the main results of the normalization, saying the breakthrough shows how correct political decision- making can positively impact the national economy.
He added that Tehran-Riyadh political and economic cooperation paves the way for regional stability.
Noting that Saudi Arabia is one of the rare countries in the region with which Iran has yet to set up a joint chamber of commerce, Kashefi said the private sector has already taken the initiative to establish business ties with Saudi Arabia. 
“Soon after the reopening of embassies, we plan to exchange commercial delegations with the Saudi side.”
According to the official, the Saudi market can provide great opportunities for Iran, as traders of the two sides have yet to unlock the full potential of bilateral commerce.
There are vast areas for cooperation in oil, gas, petrochemicals and knowledge-based sectors between the two countries, he concluded.



Riyadh Could Invest in Iran 'Very Quickly’

Saudi Arabia's Finance Minister Mohammed Al-Jadaan says Saudi investments into Iran could happen "very quickly" following an agreement to restore diplomatic ties.
"There are a lot of opportunities for Saudi investments in Iran. We don't see impediments, as long as the terms of any agreement would be respected," Al-Jadaan said during the Financial Sector Conference in Riyadh, Reuters reported.
Later, in an interview with Reuters, the Saudi minister added, "We have no reason not to invest in Iran, and we have no reason not to allow them to invest in Saudi Arabia. It is in our interest to make sure that both nations benefit from each other's resources and competitive advantage."
Al Jadaan said if Tehran is willing to go through this process, then Jeddah is more than willing to go through this process and show them they are welcome, and “we would be more than happy to participate in their development."

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