Economy, Domestic Economy

Economic Rapprochement With Neighbors

Economic Rapprochement With Neighbors
Economic Rapprochement With Neighbors

Economic ties with neighboring countries must be prioritized since it is an area least influenced by big powers, Secretary of Free Trade Zones Coordination Council Akbar Torkan said on Tuesday.

Speaking at a ceremony to honor top exporters of Khorasan Razavi Province, Torkan said, “ Export is the realm of international trade, and efforts must be made to shield it from outside turbulences,” he was quoted by IRNA as saying.

Torkan’s remarks echo the government’s general strategy that favors expansion of economic ties with neighboring states. On Nov, 15, President Hassan Rouhani said that the economic sanctions imposed by the West have forced Iran to think of further strengthening its relations with the neighboring nations rather than counting on western countries which he described as “unreliable partners who tend to trample upon their own interests and those of their partners under difficult situations.”

Describing the free zones as “bridges” that serve to “facilitate interaction with neighboring countries”, Torkan said, “all free zones located on the country’s borders are commissioned to facilitate neighborly trade and business.”

Arvand Free Trade Zone, for instance, was basically built to boost trade with Iraq, he added.

The term special economic zone (SEZ) is commonly used as a generic name to refer to any modern economic zone, where business and trades laws differ from the rest of the country.

Torkan said that Iran has also been able to secure a good position in the world’s cement, steel, automobile, petrochemicals and electricity markets, adding, “The reason behind Iran’s success in cement and steel industries is that the two sectors consume massive amounts of energy, which is cheap and can be easily provided in the country.”

He further said that the petrochemical industry has also been successful because of its reliance on inexpensive natural gas. “Iran’s success in electricity, however, is due to massive investment Iran has made on generation and distribution of electricity,” he underlined.

“Our past record shows that import is more likely to be favored whenever our hard currency revenue increases,” he noted, stressing that such an attitude would badly hurt the manufacturing sector, which is hard to recover if it is destroyed by excessive imports.