A considerable number of different countries headed to Iran after sanctions removal to establish economic and political relations with Iran.
According to MANA, most of these visits were to evaluate the possibilities and opportunities for trading in Iran. As a consequence, Iranian officials expected to spot changes in economic situation in Iran by the end of the year; hence, president’s chief advisor postponed the economical advances to hit Iran by the end of July, 2016.
It goes without saying that maritime shipping was hurt significantly through the sanctions against Iran along with oil trade and finance. Therefore, one of the main concerns for Iranian officials is the issue of the port operations in post-sanction era.
Officials believe that Iranian ports are able to handle the increased volume after the sanction removals. However, to compete with the top ports world-wide, we need to improve the port infrastructures throough a long-term plan.
Dr. Ali Jahandideh as the deputy of management development resource planning of Ports and Maritime Organization stated that: we handled over 3m TEU at Rajaei Port along with normal activities at other ports. However, today there is a big gap between our current throughput and their ultimate capacity they are able to handle.
Dr. Malek Rezapur laid emphasis on economic boom through Iranian special zones along with CIS region and pointed out: removing the issues in transit poles in Iran, we can increase transit cargo by 40 percent. He added that: to increase transit cargo in Iran, no long-term investment is necessary.
He commented that CIS countries are highly inspired to handle import and export through Iran. He also remarked the that neighboring countries such as India, China or European countries tend to shift to Iran for trading which results in a mutual transit between Iran and abovementioned countries.
Considering the fact that foreign investors may show interest in our Iranian ports, Malekpur underscored that providing the information on the economic status including potentials and opportunities for the investors is a must and stated that: the economic activities at ports need to be announced to establish a very fair competition between the investors and be able to select the best party for investing.
Hadi Haqshenas as the managing director of Ports and Maritime Organization believes that Iran will enjoy 4% economic growth and this will avoid any problem in general cargo shipping and hence, this would not be a concern.
He called a 4-5 % economic growth after the sanctions removal a natural process mainly because of the Iranian frozen accounts in international banks to be activated along with increase in oil sale, straightforward bank transactions, higher level of economic activities in various commercial institutions and finally the World Bank and International Monetary Fund’s forecast. He expected higher number of ships to sail in and out of Iranian ports and hastened to assure that we will not encounter any problem regarding general cargo shipping which is handled in all Iranian ports.
He also reminded of a sound record in this regard in 2011 and added that we could only operate as much as 50 percent of the total capacity of our ports after sanctions were imposed on Iran.
Hadi Haqshenas necessitated Shahid Rajaei to be equipped by gantry cranes and other updated facilities so as to enjoy double throughput, amounting 3m TEU. Moreover he reminded of the facilitated interactions and bank transactions after sanctions removal which results in taking advantage of cutting edge software facilities along with hardware updates.
Moein Ansari as one of the players in private sector necessitated the regional and international outlook and appropriate and responsive supervision of the PMO if we need to handle cargo by the actual capacity of this port. He emphasized that: I, as a player in private sector in port operation, consider wider point of view and tend to compete with rivals in the region.
“There were some talents and potentials that were blocked in sanction era through the lack of facilities and required infrastructures. However, these potentials require time to be reactivated and work efficiently.” said Alireza Cheshmjahan. As one of the managing directors in private sector, he commented that the statistics in between 2009-2011at our ports are indicative of great records right before sanctions were imposed against Iran.
Finally, Mr. Cheshm Jahan remarked entering foreign investors and economic representatives as a positive and valuable move and continued: there is a long list of foreign investors in each section of the industry provided that we pay the way for them to enter.