Economy, Business And Markets

Zarif Throws Weight Behind Private Enterprise

Zarif Throws Weight  Behind Private Enterprise  Zarif Throws Weight  Behind Private Enterprise

Implementation of the nuclear deal with the six world powers, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, offers a golden opportunity for lifting the economy from the crippling morass, Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said at the weekend.

Addressing a meeting at Khorasan Razavi’s Chamber of Commerce in the holy city of Mashhad, he urged business leaders and entrepreneurs to seize the opportunity and get ready for restoring sustainable economic ties with the outside world.

“The government considers the private sector a key to improving the economy and not a rival,” IRNA quoted him as saying.

He referred to the Rouhani administration’s “active economic diplomacy’’ and said representatives of the private sector are also in the high-profile delegations that visit other countries to promote economic and political ties.

“The Foreign Ministry will do all it can to facilitate international trade and economic expansion of the different sectors of the economy and support private enterprise” to the best of its ability.”

Refocusing attention on economic relations between Iran and the outside world is a must for Iran, the foreign minister noted, and stressed the importance of sending economic delegations to countries “that can serve as potential markets for domestically-manufactured goods.”

Rebuilding and expanding economic and political relations with the comity of nations can and will serve as a “guarantee for the irreversibility of the JCPOA” signed in July between Tehran and the six world powers (five permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany).

“If we upgrade our economic and political ties to higher and stronger levels, the world powers will be deprived of the ability to renege on their promises or go back on their declared commitments under the nuclear accord.”

The government is seriously considering the establishment of preferential trade agreements with neighboring countries as a part of its plan to expand and build foreign economic ties, Zarif told the business chamber. He pointed to the preferential trade agreement with Turkey but acknowledged that it has come across “some resistance” and his ministry is working hard to settle the issue.

Gholam Hussein Shafei, vice chairman of Iran chamber of commerce pointed to the preferential trade agreements saying that it is common throughout the world.

“Neighboring countries are a priority when it comes to forging such trade agreements,” he said, adding that Iran’s border regions have a high potential for fostering national economic development and building cordial trade ties to the several neighboring states.

“We have to seize the opportunities and utilize these potentials as best as we can.”

Shafei urged the government to delegate more power to governor generals in the border areas and said that such measures would help cut red tape and bureaucracy, ease the process of economic decision-making and encourage trade in the said regions.

Other issues like Iranian business activities in Tajikistan and Turkmenistan were also discussed at the Mashhad meeting. Representatives of the powerful business community asked the Foreign Ministry to settle the problems of Iranian traders in the neighboring countries through its diplomatic missions.