Baku, Azerbaijan, May 19
By Umid Niayesh - Trend:
Iran welcomes direct investment of foreign companies, in particular Japanese carmakers, in its auto industry, Mohammad Reza Razavi, head of the Islamic Republic's Industry ministry's Institute for Trade Studies and Research said.
Iranian parliament and government also are working on new plans to attract direct foreign investment in the country, Razavi said, the official website of the institute reported.
Razavi made the remarks in a meeting with representatives from trade firms affiliated with Japanese Suzuki and Nissan car companies and Japan's ambassador to Tehran Koji Haneda on May 18.
Iranian automakers are keen to use Japanese companies' new platforms and their experiences to conduct joint projects, Razavi said.
The Iranian official further expressed hope that the two countries boost cooperation in auto industry.
The Japanese companies should not consider Iran as only a single market, but a gateway to regional markets, Razavi said.
Iran plans to increase its annual car output to three million over the next six years.
The automobile industry is the Islamic Republic's biggest non-oil sector, accounting for nearly 10 percent of the country's GDP.
Iran's auto industry has been a major casualty of penalties imposed over Tehran's nuclear program, with production plummeting and workers laid off because of the ensuing economic slowdown.
US sanctions on the auto industry in 2013 were the main cause, on top of American and European bans on Iranian bank transactions abroad. The mentioned sanctions were lifted after an interim nuclear agreement was reached between Iran and world powers and a final accord is still on the horizon, raising the prospect of better times for the industry.
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