June 26, 2022

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Tehran pursuing active economic diplomacy in New Delhi

TEHRAN— Iran’s Deputy Foreign Minister for Economic Diplomacy, Mehdi Safari, on Wednesday concluded his visit to India to facilitate trade relations between Tehran and New Delhi.

During his stay in India, Safari held numerous meetings with high-ranking Indian economic officials. 

He discussed obstacles and challenges faced by the two sides in their economic cooperation and explored ways of expanding ties and areas of cooperation between Tehran and New Delhi and their private companies.

Hot on the heels of Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian’s visit to India and his official and people-to-people meetings in New Delhi, Mumbai and Hyderabad, a high-ranking economic delegation on Monday flew to India for the purpose of pursuing Amir Abdollahian’s negotiations and pushing for Iran-India relations with an emphasis on economic and trade ties.

During the two-day trip, Safari held negotiations with some ministers, deputy ministers, and heads of key economic institutions in India as well as companies active in trade, economic, technological, transportation, industrial, and energy fields.

The other members of the Iranian delegation were the director of the Plant Protection Organization, the deputy chief of the Ports and Maritime Organization (PMO), the economic deputy director of the secretariat of the Supreme Council of Free Trade Zones, the head of the Chabahar Free Zone Organization, Pasargad Bank’s director for Investment and Foreign Assets and the CEO of Ranak Banking Technology Company.

At the beginning of the trip, the public meetings of the two deputy foreign ministers and their entourage were meant to raise issues and problems and also to look into ways of resolving them and expanding trade and economic cooperation. 
Meanwhile, at the end of the visit, summing up the results and drawing a roadmap for relations were the most important goals of the delegation.

Indian diplomat emphasize transit cooperation

In a meeting with his Iranian counterpart, Indian Deputy Foreign Minister for Economic Affairs Damo Ravi referred to the recent visit of Iran’s foreign minister to India that has paved the way for strengthening ties, calling the meetings of Safari and his entourage as “very good”. 

Ravi stressed the transit cooperation between Iran and India and the huge potential of this field, saying, “We are able to continue cooperation and consultations, resolve the existing problems and boost trade between the two countries considerably.”

For his part, Safari thanked the Indian side for their hospitality. 

He then went on to point to the constructive and positive talks between the two sides over transportation as well as port development, financial, agricultural and other types of cooperation. 

Safari invited his Indian counterpart to visit Iran and expressed hope that before the probable visit of the Indian side, the two countries will witness the fulfillment of their potential for cooperation, the realization of the negotiations between them and also the current exchange of delegations.

Deputy FM underlines the need for Indians to fulfill Chabahar commitment

During his meeting with the Indian shipping minister and deputy minister in which talks were held over port cooperation and development process of Chabahar Port, Safari also underlined the need for the Indian side to fulfill its commitment to commission installations put in place in Shahid Beheshti Port of Chabahar.

The other topics discussed were the efforts by the two sides to increase shipments transfer through Chabahar, investment by Indian companies in the Chabahar free zone and finalizing the long-term and temporary deals at the port.

Tehran ready to meet New Delhi’s energy needs

In a meeting with India’s deputy minister of oil and natural gas, Safari praised India’s independent policy in political and economic spheres in line with its national interests. 

He announced that Iran is ready to meet India’s energy needs and reviewed ways of resuming cooperation to this end. Safari also invited the Indian official to visit Iran for the continuation of talks.

In addition, other members of the Iranian economic and business team held separate talks with their Indian counterparts. 

Among others, in the agricultural sector, the deputy agriculture ministers of Iran and India held several meetings in which they looked into some problems concerning quarantine and plant health. They also reviewed obstacles in the way of expanding agricultural trade. 

Alaei Moghaddam, director of the Iranian Plant Protection Organization, also visited the regional plant quarantine center in New Delhi.

During the trip, the officials of the agriculture ministries of Iran and India reached an agreement on the formation of a joint working group tasked with pursuing and implementing deals in the fields of agriculture, trade and transit of crops through Iran, exchange of experiences, technical know-how and educational cooperation in the fields of agriculture and plant health and also cooperation between the quarantine centers of Iran and India.

As for port and navigation cooperation, the representatives of the PMO and free zones of Iran held a separate meeting with officials of the Indian shipping ministry and the Indian brokering company operating in Shahid Beheshti Port of Chabahar. 

In the meeting, the two sides discussed operational steps to activate the installations put in place in the port, as well as supplying other necessary equipment to encourage the private sectors of India and Iran to participate in the future plans for cooperation and investment in the Chabahar and Makran free zones.

Iran, India discuss financial exchanges

In the financial sector, the Iranian banking officials also met with officials of the Indian ministry of finance. They exchanged views over resolution of some impediments to cooperation between the two sides and also the use of new banking technologies for the purpose of increasing financial exchanges and reached some important agreements.

In the wrap-up meeting of the economic delegations of the two sides, they expressed pleasure at their success in making important achievements, including in the fields of banking, energy, agriculture and transportation as well as the free zones and Chabahar. 

The two sides also underlined the necessity of swiftly and steadily pursuing issues and planning periodic meetings between the relevant authorities of Iran and India in order to further advance economic, trade and investment ties and also to use regional transit routes, especially the potential of the North-South transportation corridor, which have been emphasized by the heads of the two governments.

It is expected that the recent exchanges of views between the economic delegations will be followed by visits to Iran by, among others, India’s minister of ports and shipping and other Indian economic officials in the coming weeks. 

This will pave the way for the holding of the 20th joint economic commission of the two countries in the second half of the current year and also for visits by economic and commercial delegations of the public and private sectors of Iran and India.

Original News : https://www.tehrantimes.com/news/473736/Tehran-pursuing-active-economic-diplomacy-in-New-Delhi

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