Iran, Malaysia Seek to Double Trade Exchanges
“Ties with Asia including the friendly and brotherly country of
Malaysia have a special position in the Islamic Republic of Iran’s
foreign policy,” Rouhani said.
President Rouhani said the atmosphere that has ensued Iran’s 2015 nuclear
agreement with world powers makes for a good opportunity to expand bilateral
ties with Malaysia.
The Iranian chief executive made the remarks upon arrival at Kuala Lumpur
International Airport (Oct 7) on the second leg of his Asian tour.
Rouhani further referred to Malaysia as an important and advanced Muslim
country in the region, saying Iran has always had good relations with the
Malaysian government and nation.
“The Islamic Republic has always stressed the importance of the enhancement
of relations with the people and administration of the great country. In
this trip, we seek to further enhance and deepen bilateral relations.”
The nuclear deal was signed in July 2015 between Iran and the six powers –
Russia, China France, Britain, the US and Germany. It effectively
established Iran’s right to use peaceful nuclear energy and envisaged the
removal of nuclear-related sanctions against the Islamic Republic.
Rouhani was later officially welcomed by Malaysia’s Prime Minister Najib
Razak at the presidential palace in Putrajaya.
Iran, Malaysia Seek to Double Trade Exchanges
President Rouhani said Iran and Malaysia plan to swiftly double the level of
their trade exchanges.
Speaking at a joint press conference with the Malaysian PM, he added that
the two countries are in the first phase resolved to restore their bilateral
relations to pre-sanctions levels then promptly double it.
“We also plan to turn 2016 into the year of development in improvement and
expansion of mutual ties in economic, political, scientific and cultural
fields,” he added.
The Iranian and Malaysian private sectors should become aware of capacities
in both countries and use them to deepen ties, Rouhani noted.
Need for New Iran-Malaysia Banking Mechanisms
Razak, for his part, said the Central Bank of Malaysia, Bank Negara Malaysia
(BNM), and the Central Bank of Iran (CBI) must immediately develop new
mechanisms for cooperation in different fields in a bid to accelerate
He added that the BNM and CBI officials would meet in the near future to
discuss ways of developing strategies for efficient trade cooperation.
He also said that Rouhani’s visit to Malaysia allows both countries to
explore ways to further expand economic ties.
“The key to this objective is to enable business transactions to take place
within the banking system of our two countries,” New Straits Times quoted
Najib as saying.
Najib added, “As you know, sanctions (on Iran) had restricted ways of doing
business there. But we want this (mechanism) to happen, and I am confident
it will be found in the shortest time.”
He also said Malaysia will be sending a delegation comprising the
Plantations Industries and Commodities Ministry, and the Malaysia Palm Oil
Board (MPOB) to Tehran.
Malaysian Firms Invited to Iran’s Energy, Industrial Projects
Malaysian firms are invited to participate in Iran’s energy and industrial
projects, President Rouhani said.
In a meeting with Prime Minister Najib, the Iranian President stated that
the post-sanctions era is a great opportunity for Malaysian companies to
boost presence in Iran.
He also underscored the potentials and capabilities of Iranian companies in
various sectors including construction, energy, and modern technologies, and
said the two countries can cooperate in such areas.
Najib, for his part, expressed his country’s interest in cooperation with
Iran in all areas and said the two governments should try to increase
bilateral trade to the pre-sanctions level.
Iran-Malaysia Trade to Quintuple in 2 Years
Meanwhile, in an interview with IRNA, Iranian Communications and Information
Technology Minister Mahmoud Vaezi, who is also the co-chairman of
Iran-Malaysia Joint Economic Commission, said that with oil and
petrochemical products added to the equation, it is expected that the value
of trade between the two sides will increase five-fold over the next two
Referring to his talks with Mustapa Mohamed, Malaysia’s Minister of
International Trade and Industry who is also Iran-Malaysia Joint Economic
Commission’s new co-chairman, Vaezi said bilateral trade relations were very
good but fell short due to the unjust sanctions over the past years.
He went on saying “The two countries’ joint economic commission meeting has
not been held since 2008 and it has caused bilateral trade value of $1.5
billion in 2013 to fall to $500 million in 2016.”
Further in his remarks the official noted that Malaysia’s minister of
international trade and industry is due to visit Iran within the next two
weeks accompanied by a high-ranking trade delegation.
“Thirty Malaysian representatives and managers of large companies in various
sectors will be accompanying the minister and this could be a new beginning
for further development of bilateral cooperation,” he said.
Concern over Divisive Policies
Speaking to reporters after holding closed-door talks with the Malaysian
premier and participating in the meeting of the two countries’ high-ranking
delegations, Rouhani said Tehran and Kuala Lumpur are concerned about
enemies’ moves to sow discord among Muslim countries.
“We both believe that all Islamic faiths have a common goal and emanate from
a single root and origin,” he added.
He said the two countries regard terrorism a common concern in the region
and across the world and believe that “governments and countries must make
use of all means [available] in the fight against terrorism.”
He also stressed the importance of bolstering relations with Asian
“Ties with Asia including the friendly and brotherly country of Malaysia
have a special position in the Islamic Republic of Iran’s foreign policy,”
There is a “very good climate” for activities and investment by Iranians in
Malaysia, he said, adding that Tehran and Kuala Lumpur are both supporting
investments by the other country on their soil.
“Iran welcomes investment by the Malaysian firms in oil, gas and
petrochemical sectors,” he said.
He also called
for acceleration of cooperation between the two countries in banking,
academic, technological and tourist fields.