Iranian Ambassador to Zimbabwe Ahmad Erfanian says trade relations between Zimbabwe and Iran are set to improve under new government led by President Emmerson Mnangagwa.
Speaking after meeting Acting President General Constantino Chiwenga at his Munhumutapa offices on Thursday, Ambassador Erfanian said the good political relations that exist between the two countries will help boost trade.
“We had a fruitful meeting with the honourable Vice President where we discussed several issues concerning the friendly relations of our countries which are growing continuously and moving from strength to strength.
"We believe that in the new dispensation a lot of new opportunities are going to open up in Zimbabwe. We want to use this opportunity to strengthen the bilateral relations between the two nations. I believe that in the new dispensation we should try to indulge the private sector. I think the private sector can play an important role in developing a better business environment,” he said.
Ambassador Erfanian said Iranian companies which have been trying to grow cooperation in areas such as agri-related technologies, textiles, SMEs and ICTs have already begun seeking engagements with Zimbabwean countries.
“I would like to tell you that recently some Iranian companies showed their readiness to have cooperation with Zimbabwe counterparts. They started negotiations and we hope we will be able to achieve our goals in the relations between two countries especially trade,” he said.
The Iranian Ambassador said his country is ready to host the Joint Permanent Commission to promote trade between the two countries.
“As you are aware more than two years ago in 2015 we had the 8th session of the Joint Commission here in Zimbabwe and we would have the next session of the joint commission in Tehran and we are happy to welcome the Zimbabweans. We are ready to have the next commission, I think it will help promote the trade relations between the two countries,” said Ambassador Erfanian.
Iran has been assisting Zimbabwe in a number of areas and the majority of the investments have been as a result of a Joint Permanent Commission established in 1991.
Zimbabwe and Iran are both under US sanctions and the two countries have used this to strengthen their political relations.