Speaking at the opening ceremony of the 6th China International Import Expo (CIIE) and the Hongqiao International Economic Forum in Shanghai on Sunday, Mokhber enumerated Iran’s capacities in the fields of economy, oil and gas resources, minerals and human development index, Press TV reported.
“Iran’s position and infrastructure is unique in the Silk Road,” he said, referring to the giant project that involves a wave of Chinese funding for infrastructure projects around the world, in a bid to speed Chinese goods to markets further afield.
Mokhber also noted that Iran is geographically situated “at the connection center of the Middle East, Asia and Europe,” with land and maritime borders with 15 countries and a population of over 600 million.
“It also has 2,700 kilometers of maritime borders, long beaches, Chabahar and Jask ocean ports, as well as a corridor route between the Persian Gulf, the Sea of Oman and the Caspian Sea, and transit infrastructure along the Silk Road,” he added.
“In terms of its geo-political situation, Iran connects East and Southeast Asia to Europe and vice versa as a historical and economic bridge.”
CIIE is a six-day multi-sector trade show for imported products from all over the world and is the largest event on China’s international trade calendar. The annual event was launched by Chinese President Xi Jinping in 2018 to promote the country’s free trade credentials and tackle criticism of its trade surplus with many partners.
Opening Iran’s pavilion
Following the inauguration ceremony, Mokhber, accompanied by the prime ministers of China, Cuba, Australia, Serbia, Kazakhstan, African countries and a group of managers of international organizations, visited Iran’s pavilion at the CIIE 2023.
Iran and China have long been civilizational neighbors as well as capable partners in the field of commercial and economic interactions, the first vice president said.
The active presence of Iranian companies and economic bodies in the CIIE shows the mutual will and favorable conditions for making fruitful leaps in the relations between the two countries, Mokhber added.
More than 50 companies and 250 Iranian businessmen participated in the event.
On the sidelines of the CIIE 2023, Mokhber discussed the development of bilateral economic cooperation with Manuel Marrero Cruz, the prime minister of Cuba on Sunday.
The level of economic relations does not correspond to the political relations of the two countries, as there are many areas of cooperation between Tehran and Havana, while the capacities of the two countries complement each other, the Iranian official said.
Iran’s ‘significant’ volume of exports to China
Speaking before his trip, Mokhber said that Iran has a “significant” volume of exports to China and that the two countries enjoy a good trade balance.
He also hailed strategic relations and proper cooperation between Tehran and Beijing in different sectors.
President Ebrahim Raisi’s visit to China led to good understandings and agreements that need to be followed up, he said, stressing the need to remove obstacles to fully implement the agreements.
‘CIIE can help expand Iran’s exports to China’
Meanwhile, Mehdi Safari, Iranian deputy foreign minister for economic affairs, said that CIIE can help expand Iran’s exports to China by $2 billion to $3 billion. China is one of the target countries for Iran’s exports, while good agreements have been reached to boost trade, he told IRNA news agency. Iran’s trade with China reached almost $16 billion in 2022, up seven percent from 2021.