In the meeting, the two sides emphasized on development of relations in different transport sectors, MRUD NEWS reported on Monday.
Bazrpash pointed out that Iran is seeking to expand its ties with the UAE and welcomes investments in transport projects, calling for the resumption of Iran-UAE Economic Commission after a long hiatus.
Al Nahyan welcomed the Iranian minister and delegation to the UAE and pointed to the strategic location of Iran, particularly along the International North-South Transportation Corridor.
Bazrpash as the head of Iran-UAE Economic Commission was invited by the UAE's Minister of Energy and Infrastructure Suhail Mohamed Al Mazrouei to attend the “Middle East Rail”.
The visit marks a new beginning for commercial and transport transactions between Iran and the UAE, following the resumption of political relations between Iran and other Persian Gulf countries.
More than 10 transport ministers of the region addressed this largest and most eminent transport event in the Middle East, North Africa and South Asia. It is a platform for regional negotiations, particularly between Iran and the UAE, notably regarding investments in port and rail sectors.
Resuming political relations between Iran and the UAE has facilitated the expansion of transport ties between the two neighboring countries.
The Middle East Rail is the region's leading event for rail innovation, technology and strategy, held from 15 to 16 May 2023 at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Center, UAE.
A top Iranian transportation official visited the UAE on Monday. The visit comes amid the rapprochement between Iran and Saudi Arabia, and signaled the reinforcement of UAE-Iran ties.
While in Abu Dhabi, Bazrpash also met with Mazrouei. The purpose of the meeting was to boost bilateral trade between the two countries, according to Iran’s semi-official Tasnim News Agency.
Iran’s Chamber of Commerce reported on Monday that the two countries are discussing the establishment of a “direct container line” between Bushehr Port in southern Iran and the Port of Jebel Ali in Dubai. The purpose of the line will be to reduce transport times between the two countries.
The Iran-UAE Business Council held its inaugural meeting in the Iranian capital Tehran on the sidelines of the Iran Expo, which ran from May 7 to 10, the UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation announced on its website.
The UAE side was chaired by Abdullah Mohammed Al Mazrouei, chairman of the Federation of UAE Chambers of Commerce and Industry and president of the Abu Dhabi Chamber of Commerce and Industry. The Iranian delegation was headed by Deputy Foreign Minister for Economic Diplomacy Mehdi Safari. A number of senior businesspeople from both sides attended the event.
In his inaugural address, Mazrouei commended efforts by the organizing committees of both sides in establishing and activating the council, which will greatly contribute to strengthening cooperation between the two countries' business sectors.
He said that the establishment of the UAE-Iran Business Council comes at a time when bilateral relations are witnessing economic growth and provides notable opportunities for the private and public sectors in both countries to enhance flourishing trade, investment and economic ties.
"The UAE is confident that the business council will serve as a vital platform to further enhance partnerships between the UAE and Iran’s business sectors,"
“The launch of the UAE-Iran Business Council embodies the joint keenness of both sides to enhance and elevate economic and trade cooperation between the two countries to new horizons while widening the engagement of Emirati and Iranian business communities."
The Emirati minister explained that UAE-Iran economic relations have experienced significant development and continued growth in various fields, pointing out that economic cooperation in these sectors has increased joint trade and investment exchange.
Safari expressed his appreciation over the attendance of the UAE side and its coordination in holding the council's inaugural meeting in Tehran, which represents an additional step toward bolstering bilateral economic relations. He also stressed that the meeting contributes to fostering an environment for consultation, discussion and the exchange of views on issues that serve the two countries' business communities.
The UAE economic delegation, which includes representatives of various entities, held a series of meetings with officials from several Iranian economic institutions and sectors.
The UAE-Iran Business Council was established in accordance with the memorandum of understanding signed between the Federation of UAE Chambers of Commerce and Industry, and the Iran Chamber of Commerce, Industries, Mines and Agriculture in 2014. It aims to explore avenues for mutually beneficial economic opportunities between the two sides in a range of fields, including food, health and tourism. The council also serves as a platform for senior business leaders in both the UAE and Iran to facilitate exchange of views and business partnerships.
The UAE is the biggest exporter to Iran, with sales of goods amounting to $18.39 billion to Iran in the fiscal 2022-23 to register an 11% rise compared to the year before.
The Arab country is also a major destination for Iran’s exports. It ranked fourth on the list of Iran’s top export destinations in the fiscal 2022-23 with $5.76 billion worth of imports, registering a 28% rise.
Iran said recently it had appointed an ambassador to the UAE for the first time since 2016, amid a realignment of relations between Persian Gulf states and Iran.
The move comes after the UAE in August 2022 moved to upgrade ties and said it was returning its ambassador to Tehran, Reuters reported.
The UAE downgraded relations with Iran after Saudi Arabia severed ties with Iran in January 2016 after Iranian protesters stormed the Saudi Embassy in Tehran, following Riyadh's execution of a prominent Shia cleric.
The UAE, which has business and trade ties with Iran stretching back more than a century, started reengaging with Tehran in 2019.
The UAE's Dubai emirate has long being one of Iran's main links to the outside world.
Iran's newly appointed ambassador, Reza Ameri, had served as the director general of the Iranian Expatriates Office in the Foreign Ministry, the Iranian state media said.
Amid serious global tensions, the Persian Gulf region recently received the good news of a bilateral agreement reached by Saudi Arabia and Iran, which was brokered by China. This was followed by a visit to the UAE by Ali Shamkhani, secretary of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council, and a meeting between the head of the Iranian parliamentary delegation and high-level officials in Bahrain, Gulf News reported.
Statements by Persian Gulf Arab states and Iranian officials highlight the importance of economic, trade and investment cooperation in the ongoing rounds of talks between the two sides.
Regarding Saudi-Iran agreement, UAE’s National Security Advisor Sheikh Tahnoun bin Zayed Al Nahyan said, “This agreement plays a constructive role in expanding peace, stability and sustainable security in the region.”
Sheikh Tahnoun noted that “developing friendly and brotherly relations between Abu Dhabi and Tehran is among the UAE’s priorities.”
Shamkhani highlighted that “cooperation and rapprochement must replace differences and hostility.”
The composition of e delegations participating in the talks, which included the governor of Iran’s Central Bank, demonstrated that economic and investment issues took center-stage in the talks.
Iran’s first trade center licensed by the Trade Promotion Organization of Iran was inaugurated in Dubai in 2021.
As Iran Chamber of Commerce, Industries, Mines and Agriculture reported, the establishment of ties is aimed at helping Iranian companies find a foothold in the UAE, Dubai in particular, which happens to be one of the main hubs of Iran’s trade in the region.
It also seeks to use advanced information technology to create a platform that facilitates business activities of Iranian firms in the Emirati market by providing technical advice and consultation services.