Economy, Domestic Economy

Fabius Briefed on Long-Range Strategy

Fabius Briefed on Long-Range Strategy
Fabius Briefed on Long-Range Strategy

On the first visit to Iran in 12 years by a French foreign minister, Laurent Fabius met with top Iranian officials including Minister of Industries, Mining and Trade Mohammadreza Nematzadeh and Minister of Roads and Urban Development Abbas Akhoundi on Wednesday to discuss issues of common interest. The meetings came after the French minister held talks with other top Iranian officials including President Hassan Rouhani and Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif.

“Iran’s strategy is long-term cooperation and joint investment,” Nematzadeh said in his meeting with Fabius, adding that France can use the great capacities for foreign investors in Iran.

The industry minister underlined Iran’s high engineering capacity, adding that the two countries can have satisfactory cooperation in all fields of industry.

Nematzadeh said Iran has already reached agreements with foreign companies including Volkswagen, Daimler-Benz and Japanese carmakers to start cooperation as soon as the limitations (caused by the sanctions imposed by the EU, the US and the UN Security Council over Iran’s nuclear energy program) are removed.

He called on French companies such as Peugeot and Renault – both of which have had a long history of doing business with Iran – to prepare a framework for 50-50 joint investments with Iranian automotive companies after the sanctions are lifted.

Fabius emphasized on the development of bilateral ties based on mutual interest, noting that “the conditions have changed.”

Referring to industrial relations between the two countries, he said France is ready for win-win cooperation with Iran in the field of modern technologies.

He said French companies have been recommended to prepare their contracts, so as to start industrial and economic activities in Iran as soon as sanctions are removed.

Fabius had said earlier that the auto sector, agriculture and the environment would be a particular focus of a high-level French economic and business delegation due to visit in September.

  Transportation, Urban Development

In a press conference after meeting with Akhoundi on Wednesday afternoon, Fabius said France is seeking to boost cooperation with Iran in rail, sea, road and air transport and housing development.

Noting that French companies have started cooperating with Iran in railway transportation projects, he said the firms are hoping to expand collaboration in the near future.

Akhoundi for his part pointed to the past partnership with France in transportation projects in Iran and welcomed enhanced cooperation in areas of housing and urban development as well as transportation.

Earlier in June, Akhoundi held talks with French Minister of Territorial Equality and Housing Sylvia Pinel in Paris on cooperation in the field of urban development.

The Iranian minister said the government is in talks with Airbus over rejuvenation of Iran’s air fleet, given the fact that the France-based planemaker accounts for nearly 50% of Iran’s air fleet. He also referred to negotiations with executives from French firms including Thales and Toulouse-based Airbus for purchase of new planes and spare parts during his visit in June to attend the international Paris Air Show.