Lusaka, Monday, November 6, 2017: Ambassador of the Islamic Republic of Iran to Zambia and Zimbabwe His Excellency Ahmad Erfanian has presented his letters of Credence to Secretary-General Sindiso Ngwenya as his country’s special representative to COMESA.

The presentation ceremony was conducted at the COMESA Secretariat.

Ambassador Erfanian said his country is keen on investment in the various sectors of the region’s economies including mining, energy, agricultural, pharmaceuticals, financial as well as promotion of business linkages between the COMESA Business Council and the Iranian private sector.

“Iran has a promising perspective in energy, mining, health, agriculture and many more and so we can have more cooperation in these sectors and help boost economies of the countries in the region,” he said. “I hope, at the very beginning, we shall be able to establish the Iranian/COMESA Business council as well as establish banking cooperation between the two sides to facilitate trade.”

Secretary General Ngwenya said the cooperation with Iran shall assist the region in transfer of skills through training and capacity building (road maintenance, power and electrical, irrigation and water management, vaccine and animal health management, agricultural/natural resource research and other relevant areas).

Opportunities for joint ventures between COMESA and the Iranian private sectors are in petroleum refineries, agro processing, water and waste water management, motor vehicles/tractor assembly, farm machinery production, pharmaceutical production, veterinary drugs production, livestock/livestock products, road and railway development, dam construction, mineral exploration and production, energy projects, cement manufacturing and housing development."

Iran is already developing bilateral cooperation with some COMESA Member States including Sudan, Eritrea, Malawi and Zimbabwe.

In February 2010, COMESA and Iran signed an Aide Memoir to formalize and promote cooperation in health, infrastructure, agriculture, maritime transport, manufacturing, energy, project preparation and financing.