EghtesadOnline: Iran is keen to take advantage of the new dispensation in Zimbabwe led by President Emmerson Mnangagwa to deepen bilateral relations aimed at promoting investment, a top diplomat has said.
Iran’s Ambassador to Zimbabwe Ahmad Erfanian said several private companies from Tehran were holding discussions with their local counterparts to explore business opportunities, as the two countries sought to unlock value from the new administration led by Mnangagwa, Zimbabwean state-owned Daily News published in Harare reported.
Erfanian said this in an interview after paying a courtesy call on Acting President Constantino Chiwenga at his Munhumutapa Office in Harare on Thursday.
“We believe that with the new dispensation, a lot of opportunities opened up in Zimbabwe,” Financial Tribune quoted him as saying.
“We can use this opportunity to strengthen bilateral relations between the two nations. I believe that in the new dispensation, we should try to bring the private sector, to involve them. I think the private sector can play an important role in developing business opportunities for the two countries.”
Erfanian noted that recently, some Iranian companies showed readiness to have cooperation with their Zimbabwean counterparts and started negotiations.
“We hope that we would be able to achieve our goals, especially in the areas of trade and commerce,” he said.
The ambassador described his meeting with Chiwenga as “fruitful”, saying it centered on several facets of the economy.
“I had a fruitful meeting with the honorable vice president,” he said.
“We discussed several issues in the friendly relations our countries have, which continue to grow from strength to strength.”
Erfanian said some of the bilateral issues were set to be discussed at length during the forthcoming joint commission between Zimbabwe and Iran to be held soon in Tehran.
“Yes, more than two years ago, in 2015, we had the eighth session of the joint commission here in Zimbabwe. We will have the next session in Tehran, Iran. The Iranian side is ready to welcome the Zimbabwean side,” he said.
“We will be able to make the necessary preparations and we are ready. I think it will help to improve the trade and commerce relationships.”
Zimbabwe and Iran enjoy cordial relations dating back to the liberation struggle, which saw Harare attaining its independence in 1980.
Iran, with its vast oil reserves, shares common challenges with Zimbabwe, as both countries have had sanctions imposed on them by the West.