China ready to aid in Iran’s re­cov­ery

China Daily (Canada) - - TOP NEWS - By ZHANG YUNBI zhangyunbi@ chi­

Se­nior of­fi­cials and trade as­so­ci­a­tion lead­ers from China and Iran have called for re­in­forc­ing Bei­jing’s role in re­vi­tal­iz­ing in­fra­struc­ture and trade in Iran.

China is well po­si­tioned for this since the coun­try has been “a friend” dur­ing hard times, Ira­nian For­eign Min­is­terMo­ham­madJavad Zarif said.

Zarif, in an of­fi­cial visit to China, made the re­marks late Tues­day at the Iran-China Busi­ness Fo­rum, a gath­er­ing of more than 300 cor­po­rate del­e­gates.

Zarif said Iran is a “safe coun­try” that is “now ready for­moreChi­ne­sein­vest­ment”. Te­heran will of­fer good terms to boost bi­lat­eral cor­po­rate ex­changes, Zarif added.

The visit was made at a time when China’s role has been high­lighted in help­ing the oil-rich Mid­dle East­ern coun­try ad­dress the poor con­di­tion of its in­fra­struc­ture af­ter the lift­ing of in­ter­na­tional sanc­tions in Jan­uary. The sanc­tions were im­posed 10 years ear­lier over Iran’s nu­clear pro­gram.

In the lat­est mea­sure of progress in en­ergy co­op­er­a­tion, Iran’s Deputy Oil Min­is­ter Ab­bas Kazemi said in Te­heran on Wed­nes­day that Iran and China will jointly launch a $3 bil­lion project to de­velop and im­prove Abadan Re­fin­ery, Iran’s Mehr news agency re­ported.

JiangZeng­wei, chair­man of the China Coun­cil for the Pro­mo­tion of In­ter­na­tional Trade, said the two coun­tries should “ex­pand trade in crude oil and pe­tro­leum prod­ucts and con­duct tech­nol­ogy trans­fers and per­son­nel train­ing”. Also they should work to­gether more closely in oil ex­plo­ration and re­fin­ery and

Chi­nese com­pa­nies could shift some of their pro­duc­tion op­er­a­tions to Iran.”

equip­ment he said.

China has be­come Iran’s largest trade part­ner, largest oil buyer and one of its ma­jor sources of for­eign in­vest­ment, ac­cord­ing to the Min­istry of Com­merce.

China im­ported up to 300 mil­lion met­ric tons of crude oil from the coun­try last year.

Chi­nese firms are well sit­u­ated to work on in­fra­struc­ture projects such as rail­ways, roads, ports and power plants in Iran, given that they pos­sess lead­ing tech­nol­ogy and am­ple cap­i­tal, Jiang said.

China’s pro­duc­tion ca­pac­ity co­op­er­a­tion with Iran could also play an im­por­tant role in the Belt and Road Ini­tia­tive, ac­cord­ing to Jiang

Gho­lam-Hos­sein Shafei, chair­man of the Iran Cham­ber of Com­merce, In­dus­tries, Mines and Agri­cul­ture, said there are op­por­tu­ni­ties for the coun­tries to work on fi­nan­cial ex­changes, cap­i­tal flow and visa pro­ce­dures.

The two sides can boost man­u­fac­tur­ing co­op­er­a­tion, given that “Chi­nese com­pa­nies could shift some of their pro­duc­tion op­er­a­tions to Iran” to make goods that could be ex­ported glob­ally, Shafei said. man­u­fac­tur­ing,

Chen Qiqi and Chu Yi con­trib­uted to this story.

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