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10 Obstacles to Dynamic Trade Diplomacy
Economy, Domestic Economy

10 Obstacles to Dynamic Trade Diplomacy

Trade diplomacy is key to dynamic presence in global markets and could lead to reduction of costs. Many experts believe that this is an area where Iran still lags far behind. Instead, they say, Iran has simply focused on market expansion and marketing activities based on trade policies.

Upon taking office, Mohammadreza Nematzadeh, the minister of industry, mine and trade, announced that joining the World Trade Organization was one of his priorities as a major step towards developing effective trade diplomacy.

According to Donya-e-Eghtesad, the Institute for Trade Studies and Research (ITSR) has recently organized a conference on “Active Trade Diplomacy: A Must in the 21st Century” during which 10 main obstacles on the way of developing an effective trade diplomacy were investigated.

 “Lack of trade diplomacy increases the cost of trade,” Mir Hadi Seyedi, an ITSR faculty member said in an address during the event.

He considered the first obstacle as “the way trade policies are implemented” and added: “Trade policies alone cannot help; they should be bridged; unfortunately, Iran has suffered from the lack of trade diplomacy and has only relied on the policies adopted in the past.”

As the second major obstacle, Seyedi explained that “hegemony” is a part of globalization and not vice versa. It’s a wrong perception that globalization is affected by hegemony. Trade diplomacy is key to overcoming hegemony.

He also noted that the biggest exporters in the world are at the same time the biggest importers while in Iran there is a negative attitude towards imports, which serves as a major barrier to building any effective trade diplomacy and that has to change.

Seyedi considered it necessary to “redefine the concept of independence” as the current definition is an impediment to the development of active trade diplomacy.

 “Resenting the world” in a globe where countries try to bridge their fundamental differences in order to safeguard their own interests, is also another impediment, he said.

The existing system of manufacturing in the country, which is the fruit of wrong decisions in the past, was named as another major obstacle. In this respect, Seyedi said it is absurd to think that “maintaining the status quo is possible.” At this rate, the country will face a disaster in five years.

 Seyedi noted that while “in light of globalization, the world and good governance instruments are becoming more complicated,” Iran has been moving in reverse. For instance, he said “Standards, tariff systems and regulations will become more difficult upon joining WTO, while in Iran the most complicated entity, namely the Management and Planning Organization, could not be tolerated” and was dissolved by former president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

“Lack of efficient human resources” was named as the last major impediment to trade diplomacy by Seyedi who considered interaction with the world as key to sustainability of the system.

 Experts, in general, believe that effective trade diplomacy boosts national power, which is unfortunately neglected in Iran.

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