The Forum for Partners in Iran's Marketplace

August 2011, No. 60

Trade & Business

Iran-China Trade to Hit $50bn

A review of trade relations between Iran and China in recent years, especially in the past two decades, will show an ascending trend, so that, trade volume between Tehran and Beijing has increased form 400 million dollars in 1994 to 30 billion dollars at the end of 2010.

Meanwhile, existing economic and trade potentialities of both countries promise brighter future outlooks.

Economic reforms in Iran which have facilitated development of the country in all areas have also provided Chinese institutes and companies with many opportunities to invest in various projects and do their part in elevating bilateral relations.

Bilateral agreements reached through joint economic commission of Iran and China shows that one of the most important axes for bilateral negotiations has been establishment of a joint oil and gas committee.

Iran and China are economically supplementary and maintained that investment by Chinese companies in the Iranian energy sector will serve both sides' interests.

Figures show that China has imported more than 21 million tons of Iranian oil in 2010 accounting for 8 percent of the entire oil imported to that country.

The value of Iran's crude exports to China has reached 12 billion dollars in 2010 which constitutes 40 percent of bilateral trade exchanges.

The Islamic Republic of Iran is the third supplier of crude oil to China and Chinese officials are very satisfied with oil cooperation with our country.

Shamseddin Hosseini, the Iranian minister of economic affairs and finance and the Iranian head of the joint economic committee, has noted that the main goal of the committee is to speed up implementation of projects and develop bilateral cooperation in the area of energy.

He opined that Iran and China are economically supplementary and maintained that investment by Chinese companies in the Iranian energy sector will serve both sides' interests.

The minister of economic affairs and finance also stated that the recent global economic crisis has proven that countries need to cooperate and Iran and China, as important countries in the east and west Asia can have unique relations.

Iran had trade exchanges with 190 countries last year and, at least, 80 countries transited goods through Iran. Therefore, due to its economic and geographical situation, the country can provide China's access to the Central Asia, the Middle East and the Persian Gulf region.

On the other hand, ongoing developments in the Middle East have highlighted importance of energy security in Iran and the Islamic Republic has been a major source of energy for many countries, including China.

Another subject for negotiations between the two countries' trade delegations has been financial, insurance, and banking cooperation.

Dam building, energy, telecommunications, road construction, rail transport, industries, mines, and tourism are other areas which offer thrilling opportunities for development of bilateral trade.

Asadollah Asgarowladi, who heads Iran and China Chamber of Commerce has noted that the trade volume between the two countries is expected to hit 50 billion dollars by the end of the Fifth Economic Development Plan.

He noted that the trade balance was positive and in favor of Iran and stressed on the need for Chinese companies to invest in Iran. He added that instead of exchanging consumer goods, both countries should move toward joint investment.

Head of Iran and China Chamber of Commerce stated that joint ventures will facilitate access to other markets of the region for the Chinese entities.

“We do not need China's money and capital because there is enough money in Iran. We need technology and a share of the Chinese market,” he added.

Meanwhile, Chinese minister of commerce noted that cooperation between the Islamic Republic of Iran and China was beneficial to both nations and the world and underlined the need for accelerating Tehran-Beijing relations.

He produced figures on increasing cooperation between Tehran and Beijing and added that China was happy with energy cooperation with Iran and looked forward to increasing that cooperation.

He mentioned signing of customs agreements as a goal of bilateral relations.

Conclusion of such an agreement, whose void in Iran- China relations has been felt for 40 years, will further organize customs cooperation between Tehran and Beijing.

Abbas Memarnejad, governor of the Islamic Republic of Iran Customs Administration, noted that facilitation of trade and enforcement of imports and exports regulations were major duties of the two countries customs and expressed hope that the customs cooperation agreement will take trade relations between Iran and China into a new stage.

Iran and China marked 40 years of bilateral relations at a time that the trade volume stands at 30 billion dollars and Chinese companies are more than willing to be involved in economic cooperation with Iran. This proves that sanctions policy adopted by Western countries led by the United States against Iran has had no effect but to harm the interests of the European companies.


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  August 2011
No. 60