Bold steps to boost Zim, Iran economic ties

Source: Bold steps to boost Zim, Iran economic ties | The Herald

Bold steps to boost Zim, Iran economic ties
Foreign Affairs and International Trade Permanent Secretary, Ambassador James Manzou (right) and his Iranian counterpart, head of delegation and director-general for International Affairs in the Ministry of Cooperatives, Labour and Welfare Hamed Forouzan during the signing ceremony of Memoranda of Understanding at the Mid-term Review of the 8th session of the Permanent Joint Commission on Co-operation between the Zimbabwe and Iran in Harare yesterday. – Picture: Memory Mangombe.

Mukudzei ChingwereHerald Reporter  

Zimbabwe and Iran have agreed on collaboration in various economic facets under the ambit of the Joint Permanent Commission (JPCC) between the two republics.  

The Mid-Term Review (MRT) of the JPCC, which ended in Harare yesterday, agreed areas for collaboration, including in the energy, financial and mining sectors, among others.  

Under the energy sector, both countries agreed to continue exploring funding options for a new oil refinery. 

“The MRT noted the ongoing discussion on the construction of a new refinery in Zimbabwe at an appropriate site,” reads part of the minutes from the meeting.

“This would include the cost for the construction of a crude oil pipeline from Beira to the refinery.” 

President Mnangagwa has already given indication that sectors such as agriculture, mining and energy are the backbone under which Vision 2030 will be built upon, and collaborations with renowned countries in these areas is seen as key. 

According to the World Bank, Iran’s economy is characterised by its hydrocarbon, agricultural, and service sectors, as well as a noticeable state presence in the manufacturing and financial services.  

The bank says Iran ranks second in the world for natural gas reserves and fourth for proven crude oil reserves.  

Speaking after the MRT, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Trade, Ambassador James Manzou said the discussions were constructive and conducted in a spirit of friendship which embodies the state of the excellent bilateral relations between the two countries. 

“We discussed a lengthy agenda with the objective of enhancing our bilateral co-operation,” he said. “We have agreed to work with more urgency to achieve the goals that we have set for ourselves during this MTR.  

“There is no alternative to the success of our co-operation under the Joint Commission, but diligence in implementing the decisions we jointly took.

“The report indicates that more still needs to be done in implementing the various agreements and MoUs signed between our two countries before our next meeting in Iran so that we can move to the implementation phase.” 

Director-General of International Affairs in the Ministry of Co-operatives, Labour and Social Welfare of the Islamic Republic of Iran and Co-Chair of the session Mr Hamed Forouzan said the discussions were fruitful.  

“We enjoy a highest level of bilateral relations,” he said. 

Mr Forouzan pointed out that both countries were reeling from illegal economic sanctions meted by the United States, and part of the discussions were centred on erecting thriving economies on the face of the sanctions.