Tehran, Iran, May 24
By Mehdi Sepahvand - Trend:
It has long been a question whether the post-sanctions Iran will have any place for its hard-times buddy China or is the giant Chinese economy going to lose the Iranian market to high-quality European rivals.
China alleviated Iran's suffering from the sanctions by turning into the Islamic Republic's greatest source of imports as well as its biggest crude customer. However, the people of Iran have grown wary of low-quality "Made-in-China" products and are expecting the better face of the world when European companies start shipping their products to Iran.
On the other hand, the Iranian government and tradesmen in general have already proven to be too conservative to consider a radical change from where they have found a good footing.
China-made goods are cheap, as far as Iranian tradesmen are concerned, and China has proved to be a reliable friend when the West turns harsh on Iran, the part that relates to the Iranian government.
On May 24, Iran's Deputy Minister of Industry, Mine, and Trade Valiollah Afkhami Rad said to preserve its position as Iran's number one trade partner, "China should lift banking hurdles, improve the quality of its products, and invest in Iran."
In 2014, Iran-China trade turnover hit the record amount of $52 billion. The volume of trade increased in 2015, but due to lower oil prices, the turnover dropped by 34.5 percent.
At another level, partial dismay over the return of Western companies to Iran may count as a cause for Iran's reconsideration of China. Despite the fact that four months have passed since economic sanctions on Iran were lifted, the transfer of money to/from Iran is still a problem.
World's major banks are discouraged from working in Iran by the memory of severe punishments some of them underwent when the worked with Iran under sanctions.
With that said, Afkhami's remarks seem not so much to serve repelling China, but rather to be an invitation to stronger partnership between Tehran and Beijing.
Did Iran give Beijing economic ultimatum, or does it want more from China
Tehran, Iran, May 24