Silk Road, an opportunity for Iran to play a role in world economy

Tehran, March 30, IRNA - Attainment of economic independence was the main theme of the Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Ali Khamenei's New Year message.

To achieve this goal, all possible means should be employed to increase the country's trading power and allow it to play a more effective role on regional and international markets. One of these opportunities is joining the 'One Belt, One Road' initiative and reviving the ancient Silk Road.

The Leader of the Islamic Revolution designated the New Year (1397) as the 'Year of Support for Iranian Goods'. In a speech at the Holy Shrine of Imam Reza (AS), the eighth Imam of Shia Muslims in Mashhad, Ayatollah Khamenei reiterated the need to strengthen the 'endogenous and outward looking economy' as two arms of the economy of resistance.

One of the very important points that must be taken into consideration is forming or joining regional alliances and joint projects with an aim of securing the interests of participating countries. The present realities of the world economy shed more lights on the importance of this issue.

Every country has limited resources and production capacity and therefore it has to meet the rest of its needs through other channels. Imports is one these options which lead to the outflow of hard currency. However, forming economic alliances on the basis of mutual interests can address the needs of governments at the lowest cost and without causing any dependency. This will not only increase the economic profits of nations but will also bring them closer to one another.

In other words, this will provide various countries with a means of public diplomacy. On the other hand, ever mounting pressures being exerted by big economies on other nations for merely profiteering and exploitation purposes necessitate formation of regional and international groupings by independent countries.

Under such conditions, Iran as a Troika member of the Non-Aligned Movement with 120 member states and one of the major political players of the region can find new markets for its indigenous technical and engineering services as well as products by joining different economic alliances.

Under shadow of such a win-win policy, Iran can further strengthen its self-sufficiency in production of various goods and lay the groundwork for attaining independence in other arenas.

By observing the protocols of such alliances and frameworks for establishing interactions with the outside world in conformity with international standards, all economic sections of the country can grow according to the latest developments and laws of the today's world.

This step coupled with strengthening of infrastructures can lead to augmenting the capabilities of domestic manufacturing units in the fields of raw material, modern production technology and marketing methods and eventually increasing their productivity.

These steps can altogether upheld the position of the Islamic Republic of Iran in the newly emerged economic poles as an influential player in the international community and serve as a tool for the country's more effective presence in different markets and getting its share of world trade basket.

Transport of passengers and commodities through the international East-West and North-South corridors without taking into account the position of Iran as one of the safest countries in West Asia would be very complicated and very expensive.

The geo-political location of the Islamic Republic of Iran among 15 neighboring countries and the vast country's access to open seas have provided it with a unique advantage giving the Islamic Republic the upper hand in regional and international transactions.

Being located in West Asia and its access t the Caspian Sea to the north and the Persian Gulf and Sea of Oman to the south have turned our country into a key player in reviving the Silk Road for connecting Far East and Central Asia to Europe via land and to Africa via sea.

The 'One Belt, One Road' initiative offered by China in 2103 has been launched with participation of over 100 countries with an aim of bridging economic gaps and increasing their manufacturing capabilities in order to have a larger share in world trade. It consists of two trade routes namely 'Silk Road Economic Belt' and 'Marine Silk Road' with Iran serving as one of the main stations in both routes.

It seems that accession to regional and international trade grouping such as the Silk Road project will strengthen the economic self-sufficiency of the country and because of the indigenized knowledge and capabilities Iran has attained over the past four decades by relying on its scientists and youths it can serve as model for other countries.

Of course, all of this depends on constant monitoring and redefining the inefficient procedures of the past , believing in our real capabilities and effectively employing economic and diplomatic tools in order to properly seize opportunities.
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