Economy, Business And Markets

Iran, Malta Determined to Expand Economic Ties

Iran, Malta Determined to Expand Economic TiesIran, Malta Determined to Expand Economic Ties

Maltese Foreign Minister George William Vella held meetings last week with high-ranking Iranian officials, in which opportunities for bilateral cooperation in different sectors were discussed.

Two memoranda of understanding related to political consultation and elimination of political visa were signed by the two sides, IRNA reported.

In a meeting with Ali Larijani, parliament speaker, Vella insisted on expanding cooperation between Iran and the European Union, so that regional and international tensions could be addressed much more efficiently.

“Business people from the two sides need to become familiar with investment capacities in the other country,” said Larijani.

“Since Malta is located in a significant position, it can act as a gateway of trade between Iran and the European countries.”

Mohammad Javad Zarif, Iranian foreign minister, said Tehran-Valletta relationships had been hindered due to the sanctions imposed on Iran and the two countries have never been able to fully take advantage of cooperation opportunities.

“As of now, and with the lifting of sanctions, the revival of our ties will be on our agenda,” he said.

Western sanctions against Iran over its nuclear program were lifted on Jan. 16, after the International Atomic Energy Agency attested that the country had limited the scope of its nuclear program.

Banking, insurance, shipping, international law education and marine training were listed among areas of possible collaboration by the two sides.

Zarif said Malta has a creditable tourism infrastructure whose experience in the field can greatly assist Iran.

In a meeting with Minister of Industries, Mining and Trade Mohammad Reza Nematzadeh, Vella proposed reciprocal visits by the respective economy ministers of the two countries, and for the chambers of commerce of Iran and Malta `to fortify ties so that opportunities in the domestic and international market can be seized.

“Malta has made progress in the fields of tourism and hospitality, pharmaceuticals, electronic trade, design engineering, air services and port maintenance and is ready to share its experiences with Iran,” he said.

Nematzadeh stated that there is great potential for cooperation in nanotechnology, biotechnology, microelectronics, banking and tourism.

“Currently the economic, commercial, industrial and investment interactions between the two countries are not satisfactory and we need to expand bilateral ties,” he added.

In a meeting with Masoud Khansari, the head of Tehran Chamber of Commerce, Industries, Mines and Agriculture, Vella expressed his country’s readiness to cooperate in areas of information technology and telecommunications.

“Tourism accounts for 25% of the country’s economy and it has access to some 200 markets around the world due to the production of high added value goods. We hope to set up Iran-Malta Economic Council in the near future,” he said.

Malta’s economy is based on textile, fruit and vegetables, dairy products, ship construction, electronic devices and tourism, with limestone mines forming its main natural resource. Its major imports consist of oil, automobiles, foodstuff and consumer goods.