Iran safest investment market for Japan in Mideast: Zarif



Visiting Japan, Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif bills Iran as the “safest” destination for foreign investment in the troubled Middle East, calling on the Japanese businesses to seize the opportunity and promote their role the Iranian market.

He made the remarks at a major economic gathering bringing together the Iranian and Japanese business personalities at Hotel Okura in Tokyo on Wednesday under the auspices of Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade, and Industry (METI) and Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO).

Zarif, who is heading a large high-ranking political and economic delegation to Japan, attended the event upon arrival in the country. Prior to Japan, the delegation had travelled to India and China.

The top Iranian diplomat further pointed to the terror threats destabilizing the Middle East region, saying “in such circumstances, Iranians are enjoying peace. We are a country, where people resolve their differences at polling stations despite their conflicting ideas. These are the features we offer those interested in investment in and economic cooperation with Iran,” Zarif.

He described Iran as a corridor, which connects to Persian Gulf littoral states through its southern port city of Bandar-Abbas, and to Central Asia and then to Azerbaijan and Caucuses via its port of Chabahar, saying this has helped the country to authoritatively engage with the international economy.

The Iranian top diplomat highlighted the country’s advancements in the area of science and technology, including nanotechnology, many of which had come about during the time when the country was under nuclear-related sanctions.

The course of the progress has gathered pace since the removal of the sanctions on the back of the country’s 2015 nuclear accord with six world powers, he noted.

He hailed Tehran-Tokyo cooperation in Afghanistan in the area of fighting drug trafficking, and said the two nations had much in common, which could lead to the expansion of their bilateral relations.

On the sidelines of the event, Zarif met with JETRO’s Chairman and CEO Hiroyuki Ishige, who said the removal of the sanctions had paved the ground for increased business and investment role by Japanese firms in Iran.

He added that he would support a more active role by Japanese companies in the Islamic Republic. Zarif also stressed that the organization had to boost its participation in Iran, while laying emphasis on bilateral cooperation in the environmental, automotive and pharmaceutical areas.

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