Economy, Business And Markets

Indians Urged to Seize “Golden Opportunity”

Indians Urged to Seize “Golden Opportunity”Indians Urged to Seize “Golden Opportunity”

Iran’s ambassador to India viewed the nuclear deal between Iran and six world powers as a golden opportunity for investments in Iran and urged Indians not to miss out on this chance.

“So as not to be outdone by their powerful western rivals, Indians need to be quick to cement their footing in the Iranian market in the coming months,” Gholamreza Ansari said Wednesday.

Trade between Iran and India passed the $15 billion mark a year during the sanctions era despite the severance of banking and monetary ties between the two countries, IRNA quoted him as saying.

He put non-oil bilateral transactions, including pharmaceuticals, IT, agricultural and industrial products, at $3 billion a year, adding that familiarity with the Iranian market, allocation of a credit line for the implementation of projects and North-South corridor will give an edge to Indian investors in Iran over their rivals.

“Iran welcomes any suggestions by Indians on construction of Chabahar-Zahedan railroad, electrification of Bandar Abbas-Bafq railroad or construction of airports,” he added.

Referring to the Indians’ willingness to invest in Farzad-B Gas Field, Ansari said, PM Narendra Modi floated the idea of investment in a meeting with President Hassan Rouhani on the sidelines of the joint summits of BRICS and Shanghai Cooperation Organization in the Russian city of Ufa in July.

Indian ONGC Videsh Ltd. in 2008 discovered the Farzad-B gas field in its Farsi exploration block in the Persian Gulf, but did not sign a contract because of sanctions against Iran.

Iran also regards as a priority the construction of Iran-Pakistan-India pipeline, also known as the Peace Pipeline, which is aimed at transferring gas from Iran’s South Pars fields in the Persian Gulf to Pakistan’s major cities of Karachi and Multan and then further to Delhi, India, he said.

Referring to the North-South Transport Corridor, the ambassador said India will be the main beneficiary of the route, adding that Indian commodities can be transferred to Central Asia, Russia, the Caucasus region, and even northern Europe through the corridor with the lowest costs.

“Experts believe that goods transfer to Russia via this corridor would be 30% less than other routes,” he added.

The International North–South Transport Corridor is the ship, rail, and road route for moving freight to and from India, Russia, Iran, Europe and Central Asia. The objective of the corridor is to increase trade connectivity between major cities such as Mumbai, Moscow, Tehran, Baku, Bandar Abbas, Astrakhan and Bandar Anzali.

“Sanctions offered an opportunity to Iran to demonstrate its potential for cooperation with India. In the past, oil sale was the core of trade between Iran and India but the sanctions offered a chance to us to shift our attention to other countries of the region as well,” he said.

Ansari also thanked India’s cooperation during the sanctions years and said Tehran places great importance on relations with New Delhi.