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January 2019, No. 90


Mazandaran Special Report | News in Brief

Regional Cooperation Forum


Eslami pointed out that in today’s world, significant progress is being made with regional development plans, and regional development in the real sense of the term means sustainable development.


A meeting of the Caspian Sea states’ governors general was held in Babolsar, northern Iran, with the participation of the governors general of Gilan, Golestan and Mazandaran and the heads of the chambers of commerce to promote joint cooperation in the northern provinces and accelerate the process of comprehensive development in those provinces.

Mohammad Eslami, the governor general of Mazandaran said that the meeting of the northern governors will be transformed into a regional cooperation forum called the North or the Caspian Sea Forum for Regional Cooperation.

Addressing the meeting, he pointed out that in today’s world, significant progress is being made with regional development plans, and regional development in the real sense of the term means sustainable development. He said the northern provinces share joint problems and similar approaches, adding that if the coordination and cooperation coefficient of the three provinces is upgraded and synergized, we can achieve our goals at a lower cost and in less time.

Eslami said the damage caused in the northern provinces, especially in the field of environment, is of the type that is irreparable in many cases. He added: “Preventing further damage and replacing the knowledge and methods that could reduce the speed of destruction and stop its process are among the priorities, which, given the role of the northern provinces in providing food security and health, can have a profound and lasting impact in terms of cooperation and coordination.”

The highest representative of the government in Mazandaran considered the market opportunities available in the three northern provinces as one of the most important issues, and stated that the Caspian region and West Asia account for 35% of citrus and horticultural consumption in the north. He said that under lasting management and creating a powerful logistical and commercially-oriented management with the private sector playing the central role we can remain in these markets and turn our share of the said markets into a reliable share.

Eslami mentioned debates about the social sphere and social harms as other common issues among the three provinces which have impacts on one another. He stated: “These are among fundamental issues that make the idea and necessity of tripartite meetings and partnerships imperative. We hope by creating joint working committees we could take decisions so that the three provinces can pursue issues of development.”

He considered the Caspian Sea to be a major issue and noted: “We need to invest in certain areas to exploit the sea to pursue a long-term and mid-term map on aquatics.” Eslami said tourism and marine recreation was an important opportunity, adding that a private sector capacity should be able to attract domestic and foreign tourists on a regular basis with a tour desk. He also considered marine environmental studies to be an important issue for the conservation of marine resources. He said the sea is among the joint chapters of the three Caspian provinces.

He further stated that Mazandaran has an area of 23,756 square kilometers and a population of 3.283 million, which accounts for one tenth of the total population of the country. He noted: “Mazandaran has 1.107 million hectares of forests and 585,000 hectares of pastures, 242,000 hectares of arable land and 90,800 hectares of garden lands, 22 cities, 56 districts, 58 towns, 131 villages and 389 kilometers of railways.”

Eslami pointed out that Mazandaran has 4 ports including Noshahr, Fereydounkenar, Amirabad and Neka with commercial, fishery and fishing functions and special zones, 5 customs offices and three airports, namely Sari, Noshahr and Ramsar plus 338 km coastal strip. The country’s average unemployment rate is 12.6 percent, while the average unemployment rate in Mazandaran stood at 10 percent in 2017.

He said that over 6 million tons of horticultural products and 880,000 tons of marine products are produced annually in Mazandaran. He said of 213,000 hectares of land under rice cultivation in Mazandaran, over 1.351 million tons of rice hulls are produced annually accounting for 40 percent of the total production in the country.

Mazandaran with 85,000 hectares of orange gardens and 1.8 million tons of production, plus 25,000 hectares of mandarin orchards with 550,000 tons of output, accounts for 44 percent of the citrus fruits production in the country.

Noting that 6500 hectares of kiwi gardens in the province produce 180,000 tons annually, which accounts for 85 percent of the country’s production, he noted: “From the 154,000 hectares of land under wheat cultivation per year 158,000 tons of wheat are produced; and of 12,650 hectares of land under rapeseed cultivation 33,000 tons of products are produced annually.

He added that Mazandaran also ranked first in production of rice, citrus fruits, kiwi and ornamental flowers and plants. He also said the province stands on the top in white meat production with an output of 108,000 tons of chicken meat, ranks first in production of day-old broiler chickens with 275 million chickens and in fish production with 75,000 tons a year in the country.

Eslami pointed out that 60,000 tons of warm water and 14,700 tons of cold water fish are produced in Mazandaran, adding that the province has 27 townships and 12 industrial areas with an area of ​​1,923 hectares and 3,170 units with licenses and 134,000 units of guilds associations.

The Internet penetration rate in Mazandaran is 110 percent, cell phone is 125 percent, land line is 25.5 percent, and after Tehran, the province ranks second in the country in terms of possession of electronic infrastructure, he said, adding that 58 cities of the province are under the cover of 3rd generation, 38 cities are under the cover of 4th generation, 2,200 are under 2nd generation and 1,605 villages are connected to Wi-Fi broadband.  

He noted that Mazandaran has 200 tourist accommodation units, 273 catering units and 205 tourist offices, saying that the province has a good capacity for both health tourism and nature tourism.

The governor general of Mazandaran said that in the field of tourism, our priority is the restoration of indigenous handicrafts, rituals and arts that have been neglected in recent years. He said: “Considering the welcome accorded to ecotourism we hope we can increase the present 50 units for ecotourism to 500 units by the end of 1398 (2019/20).

 

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  January 2019
No. 90