President Hassan Rouhani said on Friday that Iran and Malaysia reaffirmed to strengthen ties and restore economic transactions to the pre-sanctions time.
During a joint press conference with Malaysian Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak in Kuala Lumpur, Rouhani said, "We stressed that 2016 should be the year of expanding relations in political, cultural, scientific and economic areas."
He said that the two countries' governments support investment and economic activities in each country.
The Iranian and Malaysian private sectors should become aware of capacities in both countries and use them to deepen ties, Rouhani added.
The Malaysian prime minister said that Rouhani's visit to Malaysia allows both countries to explore ways to further expand economic ties.
Malaysian Prime Minister said, "The key to this objective (deepening ties) is to enable business transactions to take place within the banking system of our two countries."
"The key to this objective is to enable business transactions to take place within the banking system of our two countries," New Straits Times quoted Najib as saying.
Najib added, "As you know, sanctions (on Iran) had restricted ways of doing business there. But we want this (mechanism) to happen, and I am confident it will be found in the shortest time."
He also said Malaysia will be sending a delegation comprising the Plantations Industries and Commodities Ministry, and the Malaysia Palm Oil Board (MPOB) to Tehran.
In the visit to Malaysia Rouhani was accompanied by his Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, senior cabinet ministers and senior government officials. He reached the Perdana Square at 4.25pm and accorded an official welcome by the 1st Battalion of the Royal Malay Regiment.
Prime Minister Najib hosted an official dinner in honor of Rouhani at Seri Perdana, New Strait Times reported.
According to a statement from Wisma Putra, Rouhani's official visit was aimed at reaffirming and further strengthening the warm and close bilateral relations between Malaysia and Iran, Bernama news agency reported.
Malaysian firms invited to Iran's energy, industrial projects
Malaysian firms are invited to participate in Iran's energy and industrial projects, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said.
In a meeting with Malaysian Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak, Rouhani stated that the post-sanctions era is a great opportunity for Malaysian companies to boost presence in Iran, Shana news agency reported.
During the meeting which was held in Kuala Lumpur on Friday, the Iranian president stressed the need to revive banking relations as the stimulus for enhancing economic collaboration between the two countries.
He also underscored the potentials and capabilities of Iranian companies in various sectors including construction, energy, and modern technologies, and said the two countries can cooperate in such areas.
Najib Razak for his part expressed his country's interest in cooperation with Iran in all areas and said the two governments should try to increase the bilateral trade to the pre-sanctions level.
"Since banking relations are the key element in trade cooperation we hope for the hurdles in this regard to be removed very soon," he noted.
'Iran-Malaysia trade anticipated to quintuple in 2 years'
Meanwhile, in an interview with IRNA on Friday, Iranian Communications and Information Technology Minister Mahmoud Vaezi, who is also the co-chairman of Iran-Malaysia Joint Economic Committee, said that with oil and petrochemical products added to the equation, it is expected that the value of trade between the two sides will increase five-fold over the next two years.
Referring to his talks with Mustapa Mohamed, Malaysia's minister of international trade and industry who is also Iran-Malaysia Joint Economic Committee's new co-chairman, Vaezi said bilateral trade relations were very good but fell short due to the unjust sanctions over the past years.
He went on saying "The two countries' joint economic committee meeting has not been held since 2008 and it has caused bilateral trade value of $1.5 billion in 2013 to fall to $500 million in 2016."
Further in his remarks the official noted that Malaysia's minister of international trade and industry is due to visit Iran within the next two weeks and he will be accompanied by a high-ranking trade delegation.
"30 Malaysian representatives and managers of large companies in various sectors will be accompanying the minister and this could be a new beginning to the further development of bilateral cooperation," he said.
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