Economy, Domestic Economy

Trade With Neighbors Must Be Prioritized

Trade With Neighbors Must Be Prioritized
Trade With Neighbors Must Be Prioritized

Iran’s business activities should be focused on trade with neighboring countries as the economic sanctions imposed by the West keep the country from being a big player in the global market, Majid Reza Hariri, a member of Iran’s Chamber of Commerce, Mines, Industries and Agriculture said on Sunday.  

“Iran’s sixteen neighbors – by land or maritime borders — offer lucrative markets for Iranian entrepreneurs,” he was quoted by Eghtesadnews as saying.

Iran has always maintained close economic ties with its neighbors.

In recent years, it signed memoranda of understanding with Russia in various economic sectors; expanded trade with Afghanistan after the war-torn country became somewhat stable and boosted business ties with Persian Gulf Arab states that have experienced impressive economic growth in the past few years. As of late, trade partners such as Turkey, Pakistan and the UAE have also considered increasing trade activities with Iran.

Hariri said Iran’s geographical location allows traders easy access to neighboring markets, a privilege which he said should be seized upon by the business community.

“Iranian products are widely consumed in Afghanistan, Iraq as well as the Central Asian countries,” he said.

He dismissed the likelihood of trade with the US and the UK, arguing that the existing economic sanctions – imposed against Iran by the US and passed by UN Security Council over its nuclear energy program – make it impossible to expand trade with these countries.

Iran’s foreign trade gained new momentum following the election of President Hassan Rouhani in 2013, who vowed to open up Iran’s economy to the world.

Many countries are now seeking to establish economic ties with Iran, including in the euro zone.  EU members left the Iranian market in 2010 as disputes between Iran and the West intensified over Tehran’s nuclear program.