EghtesadOnline: Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif spoke in parliament on Sunday to elaborate on the ministry's diplomatic efforts to boost the country’s economic ties with the world.
He stressed that the ministry is not responsible for signing economic contracts and attracting investors, but its mission is to act as a “facilitator”, for which the Economic Diplomacy Department is active within the diplomatic apparatus.
"Developing economic arrangements is among the top priorities of the country's foreign policy and [for this purpose] we have set up the department within the Foreign Ministry," he said, in response to a lawmaker who inquired about the ministry’s efforts to promote international trade relations, ISNA reported.
According to Zarif, one of the divisions of the department is the secretariat for coordinating economic ties, which has been recently established and holds sessions at the level of deputy ministers every two weeks, Financial Tribune reported.
"Recently, Iran's ambassadors in different countries are invited to attend the meetings to share the latest economic developments in the target countries, especially those with which we have closer trade ties, with representatives from various entities," he said.
The department's portal has also been designed and launched to provide state and private organizations inside Iran with economic data about foreign countries in the first phase and make information available for foreigners about Iran's economic potential in the next step so as to attract more investors, Zarif explained.
As a result of the ministry's diplomatic efforts, Iran recently forged partnership with the Eurasian Economic Union (Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Russia), which Zarif described as a great beginning and a special opportunity to start trade with neighboring countries.
The Foreign Ministry has also developed a plan to foster cooperation between Iranian expatriates and governors general who are keen to help resolve the problems of their provinces.
"Several meetings have been held between Iranian ambassadors abroad and governor generals," Zarif said.
The country's top diplomat pointed to the 25-year roadmap for economic ties with China as another measure taken as part of the ministry's agenda to advance economic diplomacy.
Zarif had earlier said three import sectors, namely technology, investment and tourism, and three export sectors of non-oil goods, technical and engineering services, as well as skilled workforce not needed domestically have been identified as the six strategic priorities of economic diplomacy.
He pointed out that the onus is on domestic entities to press ahead with efforts toward achieving the desired outcome.
"Our ambassadors should know the investor and give them information and encourage them to invest in Iran, but responsibility for the rest of the way lies with domestic organizations and [authors of] regulations," he said.