Head of Investment and Consultancy Center of Tehran Chamber of Commerce believes some countries like Sri Lanka and Cambodia have had bad experiences in dealing with China because they have been unable to repay their loans and China has taken the control of some of those countries’ projects for a long time.
Speaking to ILNA news agency, Ferial Mostofi expressing hope that this would not happen to Iran and Tehran should focus on attracting investments rather than getting loans from China.
Touching upon the beginning of the 25-year cooperation document between Iran and China, Mostofi said that time is passing and the country needs boosting its bilateral cooperation with different countries to boost its economic growth and China is one of them and currently the biggest trade partner of Tehran.
She added that Iran and China are countries with historic background which have long ties, adding that China not only has trade tie with Iran but also has ties in different fields like security, diplomacy and cultural. And the One Road One Belt project can link different civilization and the Silk Road in the past began from Xian and passed from Iran and the silk trade was done via this road.
Mostofi added that since Iran is located in a strategic point, it can connect the east to the west and the south to the north.
"Due to having gas and oil resources as well as good infrastructures in the country and China’s need to energy, this cooperation document can be win-win cooperation for both sides.
She stipulated that all depends on the details of the documents and the demands of the both sides and reiterated that the country needs to cooperate with the world especially in the economic issues and this document can also be good but since its details are not revealed and kept in secret, it causes concerns in the society.
Mostofi reiterated that a document is good when it has a win-win condition for both sides and not for one and China is Iran’s major trade partner which will be the economy number one in the world by 2030 and therefore trade with China will benefit us.
The Iranian official noted that but all depends on the details of the agreements and it is better details of the document to be announced for better analyzing it.
She went on to say that Tehran Chamber of Commerce had set a committee on the document and had worked on it for six months and it has decided the country can cooperate with China in eight fields like infrastructures, technical and engineering, developing ITC projects, agriculture, energy, health, environment and banking and monetary.
Mostofi noted that due to what has happened in Sri Lanka and Cambodia, she recommends Iran not to get loans with China and it suggests Iran to attract investments.
She also defended China and said China has good quality goods which are exported to the U.S. and Europe but unfortunately Iranian traders import the low quality goods from China which has painted a negative picture of Chinese goods in the country.
Mostofi added that on the whole, China can be a good trade partner but Tehran should be focused on the details of the agreements and it should pursue win-win agreements.
She admitted that the private sector can play a good role in the trade but unfortunately in the country the private sector is ignored.
The Iranian official also called for the launch of joint Tehran-Beijing bank for resolving their banking problems.