TEHRAN: Head of Iran-China Joint Chamber of Commerce Asadollah Asgaroladi has called for resolving visa issues between Iran and China. Addressing a seminar on the sidelines of China Guangdong 21st Century Maritime Silk Road International Expo, Asgaroladi pointed to long history of economic cooperation between Iran and China saying “the seminar in intended to raise issues and problems in the way of communication between the two countries since face-to-face interaction between Iranian and Chinese officials can speed up removal of existing obstacles.” The official touched upon visa difficulties for passengers and traders adding that talks have been launched on issuing one- and two-year visas in order to facilitate communications. He also called for activation of the banking system saying “money forms basis of any trade and, as such, banking cooperation needs to remain a top priority.”
Asgaroladi stated that Iran was would supply the required items in factories through China in case banking barriers are removed. Later at the session, a commercial advisor to the Chinese Embassy in Tehran, presented a report on trade transactions between the two countries and said “Iran is a civilized country and enjoys a unique position in the Middle East, North Africa and the whole world not to mention that it ranks fourth in oil and first in gas industry and its rich mines have turned the country into an attractive venue for cooperation and investment.” “Iran also enjoys a major geostrategic position and plays an important role in restoring the Silk Road of the 21st Century,” he noted. The official said a new chapter had started in all-round strategic cooperation between Tehran and Beijing as indicated by the 9.6 and 8.3 economic growth of China and Iran following the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) which reveal readiness of both sides for expansion of economic ties. Similar to Iran’s Asgaroladi, the Chinese official admitted that tough condition for receiving visas had caused difficulties for both sides though the obstacles will be hopefully removed in the near future. He described Iran and China as good trade partners as China remains as largest buyer of Iranian crude and Iran is the main destination of China’s non-oil products.