Mehdi Safari said on Thursday that Iran seeks to break new records in foreign investment attraction and even go beyond the milestone figures recorded during the Iran EXPO 2023 event that was held on May 7-10.
Safari said Iran has an ambitious vision to diversify its economy away from crude oil revenues, including by expanding the transportation infrastructure in the country to significantly increase its cargo transit revenues.
He said a target has been set to increase the volume of cargo transit via Iran to 90 million metric tons (mt) per year, including some 60 million mt in East-West transit, adding that the country expects that could generate up to $100 billion in transit fees each year.
The senior diplomat said Iran has been trying to expand its fleet operating in shipping routes in the Caspian Sea to help increase the flow of cargo on the International North-South Transport Corridor (INSTC) that passes through the Iranian territory.
Safari added that Iran’s efforts to expand routes along the INSTC will focus on the completion of the Rasht-Astara railway, a major project kicked off earlier this year with Russian investment, although he insisted efforts will not only be limited to that project.
He said the current administration in Iran seeks better trade ties with the country’s neighbors but it is also focused on efforts that could boost trade with countries in Africa, Latin America and East Asia.
Under those efforts, the diplomat said, Iran will work to increase its supply of engineering and technical services to Africa while introducing measures to facilitate exports of agrifood to China.