Kazakhs Discuss Joint Projects

Kazakhs Discuss Joint ProjectsKazakhs Discuss Joint Projects

Iran and Kazakhstan have agreed to cooperate in the tourism, handicrafts and cultural heritage spheres, CHTN reported.

In a meeting last week in Tehran, Morteza Rahmani Movahed, tourism deputy at Iran’s Cultural Heritage, Handicrafts and Tourism Organization, and Kazakh deputy foreign minister, Rapil Zhoshybayev the two sides expressed interest in joint projects to help develop their respective tourism industries.

Zhoshybayev led a delegation of Kazakh officials and investors to Iran last week, after making stops in Jordan and Saudi Arabia.

Tourism development, easing visa regulations, implementation of group visas for tours and launching direct flights between Tehran and Astana were emphasized at the meeting.

The two sides also focused on implementation of joint projects related to group packages and promoting Iran’s tourism in Kazakhstan and vice versa.

“Kazakhstan is one of Iran’s target markets,” said Movahed, referring to a list of 40 countries drawn up earlier this year that includes India, Russia and China, in which Iran is planning to promote its tourism industry in an attempt to attract tourists and investors.

Commending the performance of the two states at the Milan Expo 2015, the official said Tehran and Astana can help each other achieve their tourism goals.

The two sides also agreed to participate in major international events in Iran and Kazakhstan, the most important of which is Kazakhstan’s Expo 2017 (June 10 – September 10, 2017) in Astana.

As the commissioner of the exposition, Zhoshybayev urged ICHHTO officials to ensure Iran’s strong presence at the expo. The two states are expected to sign a memorandum of understanding in the near future to formalize the agreements.

Movahed pointed to the UN World Tourism Organization-backed Silk Road Economic Belt initiative and said, “Since the ancient route passes through both countries, developing Silk Road tourism could be another area of cooperation.”

Located in the middle of the historical route, Iran is expected to benefit significantly from the development of tourism along the ancient Silk Road.

Iran seems keen to capitalize on Silk Road tourism, having recently proposed to collaborate with China and the state-owned German company Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit on developing Silk Road tourism.