Tourism, trade - Iran's economic co-op priority, says ex-ambassador to Azerbaijan
Tehran, Iran Oct. 8
Afshar Soleimani, a former Iranian ambassador to Azerbaijan in an interview with Trend said that given the availability of all political, legal, commercial and economic facilities, Iran has the potential of all economic cooperation with neighboring countries to the best of its capabilities.
Speaking about the increase of Saudi investments in the countries neighboring with Iran, Soleimani said the investment of a powerful country in another country in the macro perspective is considered as one of the ways to develop, deepen and consolidate relations, but most are utilizing the opportunity of investment to extend their influence.
"With regard to why Iran was not successful in such areas (expansion of influence by economic investment), but some countries, including Turkey are successful, it has to do with weak laws, economic instability due to international factors such as sanctions in Iran," he said.
Among other factors are weakness of the private sector in Iran, lack of proper implementation of the privatization law, and the emergence of high-tech companies and a large public sector that intervenes in economy and foreign trade, leading to a lack of free competition, said the former ambassador.
Soleimani pointed out that, given the availability of all political, legal, commercial and economic contexts, Iran has the potential to increase cooperation with neighboring countries. The mentioned weaknesses should be dealt with in the long run, he said.
"Given the historical, natural and existing backgrounds, tourism and trade are the priorities of cooperation, but Iran must shift its strategic focus to energy and transportation, to become the exporter and transit route of energy through its neighbors to Europe, which has significant economic and security implications for the country," he stressed.
"As you know, the Foreign Ministry as one of the most effective institutions of diplomacy in the country, by providing a clearer and more realistic image of the international system, the internal and external developments of the countries by identifying the priorities of foreign relations, can provide necessary resources to private sector,” he said.
"It seems that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, in the framework of its constraints, powers and responsibilities, will make an effort, and any other influential institutions and decision makers can align with the diplomatic system to bring a comprehensive result," Soleimani said.