Kazakhstan sees a "brilliant" future as Iran's partner in the Euro-Asian market, with the two economies "ready to open up all possibilities" together and with a lot of room for development, according to what officials with the Central Asian nation told EFE on the weekend during a trade mission to Tehran.
Those were the main conclusions reached on the first day of the official trip to Iran by Kazakh Investment and Development Minister Asset Issekeshev, a journey on which he is being accompanied by a huge retinue and on which he held many meetings with Iranian authorities and businessmen.
"We're here because we want to take advantage of opportunities for our companies. During the visit, we've spoken about how we're all open and interested in expanding our capacities. We're two relatively large economies in which there is still much room to develop," Almas Aidarov, the vice president for Kazakhstan's Agency for Foreign Direct Investment and the delegation's No. 2 figure, told EFE.
In addition, during the economic and political meetings, officials from the two countries also discussed "the opening of the Euro-Asian market" for both, where "Kazakhstan can be one step whereby the Iranians may enter that market and vice versa," Aidarov added.
According to the Kazakh official, all these possibilities are opening up now that the ending of sanctions against Iran has created "a new scenario" for the region, an issue that "is of interest to everyone."
Specifically, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Yavad Zarif acknowledged on the Sunday after meeting with Issekeshev the role that Astana can play in facilitating the nuclear pact, which he called "constructive," emphasizing the good bilateral relations between the two nations, which can result in better trade relations.
During the day on Sunday, Issekeshev participated in the opening of the first bilateral Business Forum between the two countries, with the presence of 270 Kazakh businessmen and 500 representatives of Iranian public and private firms.
Since the announcement in July of the historic agreement between Iran and the G5+1 - the United States, France, Russia, China, Britain and Germany - to end the dispute over the Iranian nuclear program and eliminate sanctions, there have been dozens of visits by authorities from other countries seeking to revive trade and political ties with Tehran.
In particular, Europeans have shown the most interest in renewing their relations with a country that has some of the largest oil reserves in the world and is one of the biggest untapped markets, but also important Asian delegations, led by China and South Korea, have been knocking on the door. EFE