News ID: 209117
Published: 0310 GMT January 30, 2018

OIETAI head: Direct Chinese investment in Iran up almost 21%

OIETAI head: Direct Chinese investment in Iran up almost 21%

Direct investment by Chinese companies during March 2014-January 2018 witnessed an almost 21-percent growth compared to the figure for the 17-year period prior to that starting 1996.

During the four-year period to January 2018, Chinese firms made direct investment valued at $2.3 billion, whereas, the figure for the 17-year period prior to that stood at only $110 million, added President of the Organization for Investment Economic and Technical Assistance of Iran (OIETAI) Mohammad Khazaei speaking at the Third Conference of International Conference on Trade and Investment between Iran and China on Tuesday, IRNA reported.

He said the expectations and demands of the society and politicians constitute only a part of a country's diplomacy based on political and economic realities.

"Thus, once a slight problem occurs, for instance in banking or trade relations with another state, some start complaining and magnifying it. This is not a proper approach and can harm two nations' longstanding friendly relations."

Commenting on objections voiced to a number of petty problems that had come up in Iran's banking and trade ties with China, Khazaei underlined that it is not possible to overlook the realities of a country and expect that everything should be hundred percent perfect.

"It is a reality that Iran is at present one of the greatest regional powers in military, political and economic fields and a country whose absence would cause an imbalance in the region's political equations."

Turning to Iran-China ties, he pointed out that the two countries have a long history of bilateral relations.

"The other reality is that ties between Iran and China were close and strong even at the time of cruel and stiff Western sanctions against Tehran. At that time, we enjoyed the Chinese government's support. At present also, Iran welcomes improvement and expansion of bilateral and international political, economic and investment cooperation with China."

Today's China is totally different from what it was 15 years ago, he said.

Khazaei added that 40 years have elapsed since the People's Republic of China started the Chinese economic reform in 1978.

In 2016, the country began implementing its 13th Five-Year Plan for Economic and Social Development, he pointed out. "China intends to achieve a 6.5-percent economic growth in coming years."

Khazaei said in its path to success, China has promoted internationally great economic idea among which is the One Belt One Road Initiative which has gained considerable popularity worldwide.

"Iran should play a remarkable role in the implementation of this initiative given its important regional status. More than 65 countries are located along the route of the One Belt One Road Initiative among which Iran boasts one of the best geographical location."

Turning to the establishment of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) with a capital of $100 billion as another move by the Chinese government, the OIETAI chief said AIIB has managed to become a close rival for the International Monetary Fund.

"Today, China has turned into a great global trade power which has expanded ties with other countries. This comes as Iran is also an important regional power which has close cordial relations with China."

Khazaei said China prefers to meet more than eight percent of its needs in energy resources and oil and gas byproducts through Iran, while the East Asian state has other alternatives.

OIETAI head added Iran exports oil valued at over $11 billion to China per annum.

"In 2017, trade between Iran and China witnessed a 22-percent growth year-on-year. A Chinese monetary institute has signed a $10 billion with Iran to fund Iranian projects."

Earlier, Chinese Ambassador to Iran Pang Sen said trade between China and Iran during the first 11 months of 2017 stood at $33.66 billion, indicating a 20.5-percent increase compared to the figure for the same period last year.

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