Economy, Domestic Economy
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Zarif: Invest in “Most Stable” West Asian Country

Zarif: Invest in “Most Stable” West Asian CountryZarif: Invest in “Most Stable” West Asian Country

Describing Iran as the most stable country in West Asia, Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif invited New Zealand investors to seize the opportunities in the Iranian market.

Zarif made the statement in an address to a meeting of New Zealand Business Council in Wellington on Monday, which was also attended by ambassadors of the two countries, IRNA reported.

Also on Monday, Zarif held talks with a host of other New Zealand officials, including Prime Minister John Key, Trade Minister Todd McClay, Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy and Labour Party Leader Andrew Little.

New Zealand’s trade with Iran could surpass pre-sanctions levels and tap into “vast possibilities”, the Auckland-based newspaper New Zealand Herald quoted Zarif as saying ahead of his meeting with John Key.

“We continue to buy butter and milk products from you, but we are interested in going beyond that and engaging in long-term economic relations with New Zealand,” he told Radio New Zealand on Monday.

He said new trade possibilities include investment in petrochemical products and high-tech areas such as geothermal, nanotechnology and biotechnology.

Iran was New Zealand’s fifth largest trading partner in the 1980s before sanctions hit Iran. Along with many western nations, New Zealand lifted sanctions against Iran last month.

New Zealand exporters describe the removal of sanctions as an opportunity to tap into new markets and renew the country’s relationship with an old trading partner, Radio New Zealand reported.

In his meeting with McClay, the two sides investigated obstacles to strengthening bilateral ties, particularly in the field of banking services, Mehr News Agency reported.

Zarif invited McClay to visit Tehran in the near future.

Earlier on Wednesday, the Iranian foreign minister met with his New Zealand counterpart Murray McCully to discuss trade and economic issues. The two ministers signed off on an arrangement between the Export Credit Office and Export Guarantee Fund of Iran, which McCully said would help give exporters more confidence in the trading arrangements.

“We are very pleased to welcome Minister Zarif to New Zealand. His visit is the first by an Iranian foreign minister in over 10 years and allows us to refresh the relationship between our two countries following the implementation of the Iran nuclear deal in January,” McCully said.

Later on Monday, Zarif was due to speak at an event for the Institute of International Affairs before leaving for Australia.

The Iranian foreign minister arrived in New Zealand early Saturday as the fifth leg of his Asia-Pacific tour, which started the previous Saturday and also took him to Indonesia, Singapore, Brunei and Thailand. 

Financialtribune.com