Deputy Foreign Minister for Arab and African Affairs Hossein Amir Abdollahian says today Chinese, Indian and Turkish companies are turning into big economic and trade players in South Africa which further underlines the need for targeted and efficient planning of Iran’s private sector in the South African market and investment of that country in Iran.
In an article printed in Saturday issue of the Persian daily ‘Iran’, Amir Abdollahian noted that the African continent in general and South Africa in particular have had abundant attractions for the emerging economies. Therefore, he added, in the past decade markets of those countries have become an arena for intensive rivalry of foreign countries.
He stressed that in recent years the Islamic Republic of Iran has taken great strides for the strengthening of the private sector and the emphatic instructions of the Supreme Leader for the implementation of Article 44 of the Constitution and the ‘resistance economy’ require preparation for development of Iran’s presence in international markets.
Pointing to the forthcoming visit of South African President Jacob Zuma to Tehran, he said ground is now prepared for the expansion of bilateral cooperation in the private and public sectors. He announced that simultaneously with the visit of President Zuma to Tehran the grand bilateral trade assembly will be held.
Amir Abdollahian further remarked that in the past decade bilateral relations between Iran and South Africa have surpassed oil so that activities of the two big telecommunication companies of MTN and Sasol are considered successful examples of mutual cooperation and joint ventures which can be generalized in other areas.
He said prior to the imposition of unjust sanctions against Iran economic and trade ties between the two countries enjoyed a specific status on the basis of which Iran was among the 10 major trade partners of South Africa and supplied 25% of the crude oil requirements of the refineries in that country.
But, he stressed, with the escalation of the sanctions against Iran since summer of 2012 refining companies of that country stopped purchasing oil from the Islamic Republic of Iran.
Elsewhere in his article, Amir Abdollahian referred to the role South Africa plays in developing peace and stability in the African continent and Iran’s role in pursuing to strengthen peace, stability and sustainable security in the region and the world.
He noted that the two countries’ approach to important international issues such as terrorism, support for Palestinian people and opposition to foreign interference in other countries, including Syria, are close to each other.
He said similarities of geographical locations, capabilities and capacities between Iran and South Africa have provided for the mutual access of the two countries to regional markets in the Middle East, Central Asia and South Africa.
Referring to bilateral relations between Iran and South Africa Amir Abdollahian said with the victory of the people, removal of the apartheid regime and election of Nelson Mandela diplomatic relations between the two countries resumed in 1994.