Rouhani Asks for Stronger Private Sector Role to Help Boost Iran-Turkey Trade to $30bln

13930320000708_PhotoIIran’s President Hassan Rouhani said Tehran and Ankara can achieve their targeted $30 billion annual trade only through increased activity and stronger role of the two countries’ private sectors.
“Targeting $30 billion of annual trade balance requires increased activity of the private sector,” President Rouhani said addressing a meeting with Iranian expatriates and businessmen in Turkey on Tuesday.

The Iranian president explained that the time has arrived for the states to further cede their economic affairs to the private sectors, and said, “Today the Turkish economy is moving in the right direction by ceding economic affairs to the private sector and Iran’s private sector should also feel responsible and step onto the scene of action in a proper way.”

The Iranian president arrived in Ankara on Monday to discuss the latest developments on the international and regional scenes and explore new avenues for reinvigoration of all-out ties.

Yesterday, senior Iranian and Turkish officials signed 10 cooperation pacts.

President Rouhani and his Turkish counterpart attended the official signing ceremony after holding serious talks on bilateral and regional developments.

The 10 cooperation pacts signed between Iran and Turkey included agreement on joint film production, agreement on cultural, scientific and educational exchanges, tourism cooperation programs, cultural heritage program, cooperation between the two countries’ post organizations and cooperation between the two countries’ standard institutes.

During his two-day visit to Turkey, the Iranian president is accompanied by Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, Road and Urbanization Minister Abbas Akhoundi, Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh, Communications and Information Technology Minister Mahmoud Vaezi, Interior Minister Abdolreza Rahmani Fazli, Culture and Islamic Guidance Minister Ali Jannati, Economy Minister Ali Tayyebnia and Governor of the Central Bank of Iran Valiollah Seif.

Last night the two sides issued a joint statement at the end of the meeting of their First Strategic Relations High Council in Ankara.

The joint Tehran-Ankara meeting, held in the Turkish capital, was presided by Iranian President Hassan Rouhani and Turkish Prime Minister. At the meeting, the two sides outlined their future cooperation in a final statement.

In the statement, the two sides laid emphasis on their determination to strengthen their bilateral relations based on international law and good neighborly relations and on issues of mutual interest.

Iran and Turkey also reiterated improvement of economic and commercial relations, saying it will result in the prosperity of the two nations and help regional stability.

The two sides also agreed to study ways to strengthen the two countries’ relations in the banking sector.

Tehran and Ankara also agreed to deepen their cooperation in the energy sector.

The two sides also reiterated their support for the activities of the Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO) and laid emphasis on deepening cooperation among the member-states through ECO Trade Agreement.

Also addressing the Strategic Relations High Council meeting on Monday, Rouhani said a growing number of world states are willing to increase investment in Iran, but investment by the Turkish nationals is Tehran’s priority.

“Iran is one of the most secure regional states for investment and the trend of investment in Iran will further grow in coming years; in this line Iran gives the priority to the Turkish investors, while the Iranian private sector is also ready for reciprocal investments (in Turkey),” Rouhani said.

He also underlined the necessity for increased activity by the two countries’ economic cooperation commissions to boost Iran-Turkey’s trade balance to $30bln.

Rouhani referred to other fields of cooperation between Tehran and Ankara, and said, “We are ready for the transfer of the experiences of Iranian and Turkish companies in tourism and the two sides’ investment in this sector.”

He also called for removing certain banking problems in a bid to facilitate financial exchanges between the two sides.

Iran and Turkey have in recent years increased their cooperation in all the various fields of economy, security, trade, education, energy and culture.

The two sides have exchanged several politico-economic delegations during the last few months.

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