EghtesadOnline: Iran welcomes further Chinese investment despite great uncertainty facing the global economy, Iran’s ambassador to China said.
Ali Asghar Khaji was speaking on the sidelines of the inaugural meeting of China-Iran Business Council in Beijing on May 8, 2018.
The council was co-launched by the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade and the China Chamber of International Commerce with the aim of building new networks to promote bilateral business and investment relations, China Internet Information Center reported.
“China has been the largest trading partner of Iran in the past 10 years,” the ambassador said during the meeting, according to Financial Tribune.
Zhang Yi, CCOIC deputy secretary general, said that in 2017, trade between the two countries increased by 19% year-on-year to reach $37.18 billion.
“Expansion of bilateral economic relations is a win-win tie between the two nations,” the ambassador said.
The two countries lifted their ties to a comprehensive strategic partnership during President Xi Jinping’s state visit to Iran in January 2016.
Later in February 2016, the first cargo train from China to Iran arrived in Tehran, marking a milestone in reviving the ancient Silk Road trade route. The train also passed through Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan before arriving in Iran, a distance of 10,399 kilometers.
“Thanks to the strategic position of Iran, the ancient Silk Road country is fully prepared to participate in the new Silk Road idea proposed by President Xi,” said the ambassador.
The two countries have extensive cooperation in the fields of energy, automotive, transportation, water, mining, mobile communications and steel production.
“SinoTruk, the first Chinese heavy truck producer to enter the Iranian market, serves as the first chairman of the council. To date, the company has exported up to 20,000 trucks to Iran either in the form of entire vehicles or CKD [completely knocked down],” Zhang Houqin, chief representative of SinoTruk Eurasian HQ, said.
In addition to bilateral trade, the two countries have a large potential for cooperation in finance, Khaji added.
According to the ambassador, over $42 billion have been agreed between Iran and China in financial credit lines that will be used to implement industrial and infrastructure projects in Iran by Chinese companies.
The international e-commerce platform Dalian Equipmentimes, and vice chairman of the council, introduced a “green channel” for Iranian exports, offering customized financing plans for usance letters of credit from Iran.
“Strict compliance of bilateral trade between the two countries can help avoid possible financing risks amid global economic uncertainty,” said Xu Yanfeng, e-commerce director of Dalian Equipmentimes.
At present, Iran has already established the Iran-China Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Tehran and China-Iran chambers of commerce in Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou respectively to boost cooperation with China.