Domestic Economy

Rome’s Focus on Long-Term Partnership

Domestic Economy Desk
Rome’s Focus on Long-Term Partnership
Rome’s Focus on Long-Term Partnership

Italian Minister of Economic Development, Federica Guidi, said her country is eager to develop "long-term mutual cooperation” with Iran rather than simply maintaining its presence in Iran’s consumer market.

She made the comment in a meeting at Iran Chamber of Commerce, Industries, Mines and Agriculture in Tehran on Wednesday.

Guidi along with Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation, Paolo Gentiloni, leading a high-ranking delegation arrived in Tehran on Tuesday, with the aim of "regaining Italy's pre-sanctions stature in the Iranian economy" in Gentiloni's words.

According to Guidi, “Italy’s priority in resumption of relations is to create financial and banking infrastructures on which future economic cooperation can be built.”

In recent years, trade with Italy has been severely hit by sanctions imposed on Iran’s nuclear program by the US, EU and the Un Security Council. Both countries are eager to revive the old bonds in the light of a landmark nuclear deal reached between Iran and world powers in Vienna in mid-July, which guarantees the lifting of sanctions.

Head of ICCIMA, Mohsen Jalalpour, said although bilateral economic relations have seen many ups and downs during the past two decades, both sides had been able to maintain ties at a reasonable level.

He said the government has adopted a new approach in its economic foreign relations after the nuclear deal which is aimed at curbing reliance on oil revenues, noting that Iran is to shift from an oil-based state-dominated economy to a private economy.

“Italy could be a pioneer in seizing this opportunity,” he said, adding that Tehran is ready to cooperate with Italians in energy, mining, automotive and water management.

Head of the Organization for Investment, Economic and Technical Assistance of Iran Mohammad Khazaei, who was also present at the meeting told the Financial Tribune that foreign delegations are informed that in foreign investment and joint ventures, Iran’s primary aim is to develop its economy through sharing technical knowhow, boosting exports and upgrading economic infrastructure.

On Tuesday, the two Italian ministers met with top Iranian officials including Foreign Minister Mohammad-Javad Zarif, Minister of Industries, Mining and Trade Mohammadreza Nematzadeh and Minister of Economic Affairs and Finance Ali Tayyebnia. A memorandum of understanding was signed by the Italian Ministry of Economic Development, the export credit company SACE and investment bank Mediobanca and Iran’s Ministry of Economic Affairs and Finance and the Central Bank of Iran.

“The MoU paves the way for strong involvement of SACE alongside Italian and international financial institutions to ensure rapid and effective restoration of bilateral trade and investment,” Tayyebnia said.

Furthermore, Iran and Italy plan to establish a joint commission to focus on expansion of bilateral economic relations, the Italian economy minister said.

Italy seeks to enter into joint ventures in Iran, Guidi told reporters at a joint press conference with her Nematzadeh. ”Mutually beneficial sectors include energy, oil and gas, aeronautics, shipping, construction, jewelry, leather and food,” she said.

Guidi and Gentiloni also met with President Hassan Rouhani on Wednesday and discussed issues including transfer of technology to Iran, boosting joint exports to regional markets and expanding cooperation in key areas, namely politics, economy, culture, science and tourism.