The Forum for Partners in Iran's Marketplace

January 2017, No. 82

Trade & Business

Iran, Thailand Set to Open
‘New Page’ in Bilateral Relations

Iran and Thailand could soon double the level of their trade exchanges by implementing agreements and joint projects, Rouhani said.

Iran and Thailand have expressed their readiness to open a new chapter in Tehran-Bangkok relations in different fields.

Iran’s President Rouhani and Thai Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-o-cha made the remarks in a meeting held on the sidelines of the 2nd Asia Cooperation Dialogue (ACD) Summit in Bangkok (Oct. 9).

“Today, the two governments are willing to broaden bilateral ties in political, economic, cultural and scientific areas,” Rouhani said, adding, “The expansion of relations between Iran and Thailand serves the interests of the two nations and is supplementary to regional cooperation.”

Thailand can serve as an economic bridge between Iran and East Asia, said Rouhani, calling for a more active participation of private sectors of both countries in efforts to promote Tehran-Bangkok cooperation.

The Iranian chief executive further underlined the need for bolstering banking cooperation between the two states as a step towards fostering economic ties.

Iran and Thailand could soon double the level of their trade exchanges by implementing agreements and joint projects, Rouhani added.

The Thai premier, for his part, underscored the necessity for opening a new page in Tehran-Bangkok relations.

Prayuth also stressed that the Thai government is resolved to boost cooperation with Iran and noted that bilateral educational, cultural and scientific ties should be expanded at the same pace as political and economic relations between the two sides.

According to Thai Ministry of Foreign Affairs, trade value between Tehran and Bangkok stands at around $794.46 million.

Thailand to Revive Iranian Economic Ties through Rice Deals, Trade

 Thailand aims to resume rice exports to Iran, the Thai Commerce Ministry said (Oct. 10), following a trade meeting between the two countries in the Thai capital Bangkok.

Trade leaders from the two nations met on the sidelines of the ACD meeting.

Thailand and Iran agreed to resume bilateral trade and aim to increase their shared market from $310 million to $3 billion by 2021, said Thai Commerce Minister Apiradee Tantraporn, following a meeting with her Iranian counterpart Mohammad Reza Nematzadeh.

Thailand, the world’s second-largest rice exporter, also aims to export 700,000 tons of rice to Iran per year, Apiradee told reporters, the same level as before the economic sanctions were imposed in 2012.

In February, Thailand and Iran signed four memorandums of understanding worth 4.3 billion baht ($123 million) that would see 300,000 tons of white and jasmine rice shipped to Iran.

Iran’s Health Ministry has yet to finish inspecting the quality of the Thai grain, but the process should be completed within this year, Apiradee said, adding that shipping would begin soon afterwards.

Thailand’s rice industry welcomed the agreement. “Iran is an old market we have always wanted to return to,” Charoen Laothamatas, president of the Thai Rice Exporters’ Association, was quoted as saying.

Thailand aims to export 9.5 million tons of rice in 2016 and has already exported 6.2 million tons until August.

Thai Airways and Thai AirAsia X started selling direct flights between Bangkok and Tehran this year in a bid to attract wealthy tourists from the Middle East. 

Iran is an integral part of Asia and a gateway that connects East to West. We have our roots in Asia and our history, culture and arts have been shaped by this ancient continent. We are committed to remain with Asia and continue to define our identity as Asians.

Rouhani Addresses Asia Cooperation Dialogue Summit 

The Iranian President said that Asia’s power is dependent on self-confidence and a shared will for convergence. “We must open our markets, engage in greater economic interaction, start domestic structural reform, move towards greater transparency and engage in extensive coordination on setting policy; and by doing so, take long strides to improve the quality of life for our citizens and elevate the standing of Asia on the world stage,” President Rouhani said in his address to the second Summit of the Asia Cooperation Dialogue (ACD) in Bangkok (Oct 10).

‘Today, all acknowledge that no global issues could be addressed without close cooperation of Asian powers. Asia plays a pivotal role in global efforts aimed at resolving such major issues as climate change, environmental crisis, social problems, including refugees, illiteracy and poverty; and the role of Asian states in promoting collective security is indispensable,’ Rouhani said.

ACD is an inter-governmental organization created in 2002 to help integrate separate regional organizations -- such as ASEAN, SAARC, the Persian Gulf Cooperation Council, and the Eurasian Economic Union -- incorporating every Asian country to build an Asian Community without duplicating other organizations.

More excerpts from the Iranian President’s address at the ACD:

Iran is an integral part of Asia and a gateway that connects East to West. We have our roots in Asia and our history, culture and arts have been shaped by this ancient continent. We are committed to remain with Asia and continue to define our identity as Asians.

One cannot talk about security and work towards cohesive development, while ignoring terrorist atrocities in Iraq and Syria, or remaining indifferent to the bombardment of defenseless women and children in Yemen as well as brutal behaviors of the Zionist regime in Palestine.

Asian spirit uses diplomacy and dialogue as its main tools to resolve hostilities. In meeting the challenges before us, our forum must continue to use the same tools.

Having secured the historic nuclear accord, the Islamic Republic of Iran is eager to participate actively in the value chain as well as develop new markets and provide secure supply of energy and consequently play an even more active role in Asian collaborations. Blessed with a young and educated work force, extensive oil and gas reserves and an advantageous geographical position, Iran has aimed at an annual 8 percent growth rate. In addition, attracting more foreign investment is one of Iran’s priorities. Therefore, we invite and welcome Asian investors and have prepared the ground for mutually advantageous projects.

Due to the nuclear accord and the lifting of sanctions, Iran’s economy is poised to experience considerable growth in the coming years. Geographical advantage, security, and considerable investment in rail, air and sea lanes have secured the position of Iran as a major international corridor. At the same time, the Islamic Republic of Iran aims to play a more active role in the Asian-European transportation network. By developing its capacities, Iran is seeking to become a new hub in rail, air and sea transportation in West Asia.

As part of its main goals, the ACD works to expand cultural interaction and tourism among Asian communities. Again, drawing on its natural, cultural and historic attractions, Iran is trying to utilize its tourism industry as a main prime mover of the economy.

Globally, a secure supply of energy is a major challenge to sustainable development. Iran is ready – through multilateral investment schemes and expansion of its natural gas sector – to increase the security of the energy supply in Asia and promote natural gas as a clean and alternative fuel that serves to improve the environment.

Security and stability are prerequisites for development. At the same time, development is imperative for ensuring security and stability. Through comprehensive development, living conditions improve and cultural diversity – as well as the rights of fellow human beings – is respected. The ACD can help expand trade and economic cooperation and by connecting the east and west of Asia create a promising vision of peace, tranquility and stability throughout the continent; and by doing so create a better future for all inhabitants of Asia.

The future of Asia belongs to our children and grandchildren, and its full blossoming depends on more stable and dynamic ties among the Asian nations. Cognizant of this, my administration is committed to expanding trade as well as scientific, cultural and technological ties between the Iranian nation and Asian communities and by doing so – as an influential member of the Asia Cooperation Dialogue -- we will positively contribute to the ongoing efforts to transform this ancient continent to a powerhouse for global progress.”


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  January 2017
No. 82