Domestic Economy

Polish Delegation Surveys Avenues of Economic Coop.

Polish Delegation Surveys  Avenues of Economic Coop.Polish Delegation Surveys  Avenues of Economic Coop.

Iran and Poland discussed areas of economic cooperation in meetings between Poland’s Economy Minister Janusz Piechocinski and Iranian ministers on Saturday.

Poland is seeking to strengthen ties with Iran by launching shipping lines, a Warsaw-Tehran flight in July 2016 and putting their banking house in order, said the Polish economy minister, who is also deputy prime minister, in a meeting with Iran’s Minister of Economic Affairs and Finance Ali Tayyebnia.

“Oil, gas, transport and agriculture are other sectors in which my country is willing to cooperate with Iran,” Piechocinski added. He is heading a high-ranking delegation of Polish officials and businessmen to Tehran.

A memorandum of understanding on developing economic ties was signed on the sidelines of the two ministers’ meeting.

“The MoU would be a roadmap for further economic cooperation between the two countries. It is our hope your trip to Iran would be a turning point toward renewal of relations between our countries,” IRNA quoted the Iranian minister as telling his Polish counterpart.

Better economic ties would be achievable by forming joint taskforces on banking, trade, oil and customs affairs, Tayyebnia added.

Referring to the two countries’ $40-million trade, he said the present Polish-Iranian trade is below potential for both countries.

In a separate meeting, Iran’s Minister of Industries, Mining and Trade Mohammad Reza Nematzadeh threw his weight behind the idea of setting up a joint commerce chamber between the two countries. The Polish minister in turn called for the establishment of Tehran-Warsaw Commerce Chamber by the end of 2015 and said the chamber could play a significant role in expanding mutual relations.

Nematzadeh viewed the two countries’ trade as minimal and said expansion of Tehran-Warsaw economic cooperation is conditioned to the expansion of banking ties. Therefore, the officials of the National Bank of Poland—the central bank of Poland—or any other active bank of that country are invited to visit Iran to initiate financial activities. Iran is also set to dispatch banking delegations to Poland if need be, he added.

“We are certain that the EU acted in good faith during the nuclear talks since scores of delegations and European ministers headed to Iran within two months of the conclusion of the nuclear deal,” the Iranian minister noted.

“Poland is willing to put its experiences at Iran’s disposal,” the Polish minister said. “The aim of our trip to Iran is not only selling goods. Our companies are ready to invest in your country.”

Poland will invest in the manufacture of medical equipment and high-tech medicine in Iran, said the Iranian Minister of Health and Medical Education Hassan Hashemi.

Polish firms would join hands with Iran in the production of radioisotopes widely used in nuclear medicine, ensuring Good Manufacturing Practice system in radiomedicine production, technology transfer of proton therapy and helping the establishment of centers providing such services, Hashemi added.

“Iran’s proximity to 15 countries would guarantee a lucrative market for foreign investors. We have weighed the proposals floated by Polish companies on manufacture of medical equipment and construction of hospitals,” Hashemi said, noting that an MoU was signed between the countries on medical and pharmaceutical cooperation.

Iran is poised to issue permits for the presence of Polish airlines in Iran, said Iran’s Minister of Roads and Urban Development Abbas Akhoundi. “The two countries’ road and transport agreement dates back to 40 years and drivers know Iran-Poland route like the back of their hand. It is six months now that more than 16 international shipping lines berth in Bandar Abbas, Chabahar and Imam Khomeini ports, which means that sanctions have been practically lifted in this sector.”

Referring to the state-of-the-art technology Poland possesses in making wagons and locomotives, Akhoundi put forth the idea of Polish investment in two Iranian companies active in this field.

Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh signaled Iran’s readiness to sell crude oil to the eastern European country. The first step toward opening a new chapter in Iran-Poland relations would be inking a deal on crude oil sales to Poland.

“LNG terminals have been constructed in Poland and Iran has floated the idea of exporting LNG to this country,” he said.

The two sides also discussed underground gas storage and energy consumption efficiency techniques, and agreed to hold further meetings on the issues.

  Meeting With Private Sector Representatives

The Polish envoy also held a meeting with representatives of Iran’s private sector on Saturday and explored avenues for cooperation with the head of Iran Chamber of Commerce, Industries, Mines and Agriculture, Mohsen Jalalpour.

“More than 1,500 Polish companies have expressed their readiness to cooperate with Iran in various sectors thanks to the conditions following the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action,” announced the ICCIMA head referring to the nuclear deal signed between Iran and P5+1 on July 14.

Bilateral cooperation in agriculture, food, mining, agricultural tools, environmental, water and water purification, automotive, oil and gas, energy, medical equipment, pharmaceuticals, transport and power plants would be prospective areas of collaboration between the two sides, Jalalpour added.

“Poland was one of our key partners during sanctions. We propose the establishment of joint brands, particularly in production of food, to meet the needs of both the Middle East and Europe. Given the EU-US sanctions on Russia, joint Iranian-Polish firms can address the needs of Russia,” said ICCIMA chief.  “Poland has taken major strides toward privatization; this helped the country weather the recession storm of recent years in Europe.”

Piechocinski hailed the agreement on Iran’s nuclear program as “a good deal for the region and the world” and described it as a cornerstone to expand economic, cultural and political ties with Iran.

The Polish delegation arrived in Tehran on Friday for a 10-day visit.  It is the latest European mission to arrive in Tehran to explore grounds for cooperation. Tehran has hosted top trade delegations from Spain, the Netherlands, France, Austria, Spain and Germany in the past few weeks, in preparation for multibillion-dollar agreements in economic and energy sectors in the post-sanctions era.