World  Business and Economic Analysis 

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Iran is developing ports to handle more shipments of export cargo and import cargo in international trade.


    Iran is expecting GDP growth of as much as 6.7 percent in the next two years.
   

Foreign firms are expected to make nearly $1 billion of investment in the country’s port and shipping industry. That, according to the managing director of Iran’s Ports and Maritime Organization (PMO) Mohammad Saeednejad.

Since the removal of sanctions related to Iran’s nuclear program, under a deal negotaited between Iran and six countries, various foreign delegations have travelled to Iran and expressed willingness to invest in the country’s port and maritime projects, Saeednejad told the Tasnim news agency.

Iran is also the second largest country in the Middle East with a population of 80 million, an estimated GDP of $435 billion, and expected growth of as much as 6.7 percent in the next two years. The country is also positioned as a global trade gateway to the Commonwealth of Independent States, a market of more than 400 million people.



Nine major foreign investors have so far submitted their bids to develop Shahid Rajaee port in Iran’s southern city of Bandar Abbas, he said, adding that the proposals are under study.

“New contracts worth nearly $1 billion to develop the country’s ports will be signed this year,” the Iranian port official said, referring to the Iranian year which ends March 20.

In June, India pledged to contribute $500 million to the development of a port at Chabahar in southern Iran, as part of a deal that also includes Afghanistan. The deal helps provide India with access to markets in Iran, Afghanistan, and Central Asia.

Saeednejad also said that 17 major international shipping lines have chosen the country’s ports among their ports of call.

Among others, the world’s largest container carrier Maersk Line has reentered the Iran market after a five-year absence. Maersk’s Iran business will be managed by a team that oversees a cluster of countries,which also includes the United Arab Emirates, Oman, and Qatar.

In recent months, Iran’s southern Shahid Rajaei port and other major ports have turned into major hubs for shipping and transship activities. The Iran’s Ports and Maritime Organization have rated thee facilities as suitable for international vessels following the removal of the sanctions.

But even with the easing of sanctions following the nuclear deal, a raft of other trade restrictions remain in place.

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 Tehran and Tokyo signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on Friday to further broaden mutual cooperation in the field of transportation.

The MoU was signed in a ceremony in Tokyo today by Iran's Deputy Minister of Roads and Urban Development for international affairs Asqar Fakhrieh and his Japanese counterpart Hiroshi Tabata.

The MoU was the outcome of the first Iran-Japan joint commission on infrastructure and transport.

Tabata welcomed implementation of Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) and underlined the important role of infrastructures for Iran-Japan cooperation in future.

Fakhrieh visited Tubo Railroad Control Center and met with deputy minister of foreign affairs, deputy minister of economy, trade and industry as well as directors of different Japanese companies during their stay.

The capacities for joint venture investment in Iran's railroad transport were introduced to the Japanese firms in a seminar on 'Iran Railroad' at Edmont Hotel in Tokyo by the Iranian delegation.

In late May, Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Seyed Abbas Araqchi voiced Tehran's readiness to expand bilateral ties with Tokyo.

"Iran and Japan had satisfactory relations during the sanction-era as the two countries managed to maintain their good mutual cooperation despite the difficult conditions of that time," Araqchi said in a meeting with his Japanese counterpart Shinsuke Sugiyama in Tokyo.

The Iranian deputy foreign minister, meantime, thanked the Japanese government for opening a 10-billion-dollar credit line to facilitate the volume of trade exchanges with Iran, and said, “Continuation of this important step and making full use of this credit line to pave the way for participation of Japanese companies in Iran’s economic projects requires the two countries’ joint will.”

Sugiyama, for his part, felicitated Iran on the occasion of striking a nuclear deal with the world powers and the implementation of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

In February, Iranian Economy Minister Ali Tayyebnia and his Japanese counterpart Taro Aso in a meeting in Tokyo underlined the need for the further expansion of mutual cooperation between the two countries, specially in economic and trade fields.

During the meeting in the Japanese capital, the Iranian and Japanese economy ministers explored the avenues for the bolstering and reinvigorating bilateral ties.

"Cheap energy and labor in Iran and the region's big market are advantages for Japan in order to make its products competitive," Tayyebnia said.

Aso, for his part, reiterated that his country is ready for transfer of technical know-how and joint investments in Iran's infrastructure projects.

The Japanese economy minister said that Tayyebnia's visit to Japan can contribute to expansion of economic cooperation and boost the level of bilateral relations between the two countries.

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Iran and Britain have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) in the field of rail transportation.

The cooperation agreement was sealed during the visit to London of Mohsen Pourseyyed Aghaei, the President of Islamic Republic of Iran Railways (RAI).

The MoU, which seeks to develop Iran’s railway system through the exchange of knowledge and technology, was signed at the presence of RAI CEO and his British counterpart and emphasizes bilateral cooperation in the fields of process management, rail transportation systems as well as technical and technological management of railways.

During his meetings with two executives of Britain’s Department for Transport (DfT) in London, Pourseyyed Aghaei referring to the steps taken for promotion of rail transport and movement of passengers and cargo in the country offering the English side unparalleled investment opportunities in the sector.

The British  side also pointed to the attractions of Iran for trade and economic cooperation voicing willingness to develop relations with the country in the area of rail transportation.

The MoU was signed as a follow up to the visit of Britain’s Deputy Minister of State at the Department for Transport Robert Goodwill earlier this year.

During Goodwill’s visit to Tehran, further cooperation between Iran and the UK especially in the field of rail transport and high-speed trains as well as in airports and aviation infrastructure was emphasized.

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