Mar 1, 2021, 9:48 AM
Journalist ID: 1843
News Code: 84246888
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Outlook of ASEAN-Iran economic cooperation

Tehran, March 1, IRNA – A look into the foreign policy of the Islamic Republic of Iran shows that Tehran has always tried to expand its relations with different Asian countries, including the all-out ties with member states of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).

After the end of the Cold War and the formation of new regionalism in the international arena, various countries including Iran tried to boost their cooperation with regional organizations. 10 member states of the ASEAN signed documents and accepted Iran's accession to the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation in Southeast Asia (TAC); therefore, the country has got the opportunity to benefit from capacities of the fifth economic powerhouse of the world.

The ASEAN has always underlined the need for expansion of social collaborations, improvement of socio-cultural ties among member states as well as the designation of strategies to resolve regional problems.

Regional trade among the ASEAN’s member states stood at 10-15 percent in the 1970s, which increased to 25 percent in the middle of the 2000s. The growth of real GDP of the member states was reported around 5 percent between 2016 and 2019, while the index was 2.7 percent in the European Union and 2.9 percent in the United States between 2017 and 2019.

The expansion of ties with the Asian countries is in line with the Islamic Republic’s Look East policy; then, the report aims to access the strategy concentrating on the ASEAN’s member states.

***ASEAN; globe's fifth-biggest economy 

Statistics prove that the economic bloc could showcase a successful pattern of intra-regional trade. The ASEAN is considered the fifth greatest economy in the world and will take the fourth position by 2030.

The member states of the Association host over 650 million population, which is one of the most important markets on a global scale.

One of the significant measures of the economic bloc during the four years of tenure of former US President Donald Trump was the rejection of severe economic protectionism and the emphasis on multilateralism in trade ties.

The ASEAN has welcomed cooperation with other economic powers such as Australia, Japan, China, South Korea, and India.

***Investment in energy infrastructure

The fast economic growth of the Southeast Asia region in the last two decades helped the increase of investment, improvement of job opportunities as well as the promotion of communications, innovation, and political stability.

Experts believe that investment in energy sectors seems to be necessary from now till 2040.

***Iran's membership in TAC

Given the fact that the association enjoys vast capacities, the accession of the Islamic Republic to the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation in Southeast Asia (TAC) has provided the country with an opportunity to develop cooperation with the member states of the ASEAN.

In other words, the signing of the TAC has paved the ground for Iran to utilize capacities of the fifth greatest economy bloc of the world in order to expand its own economic exchanges.

The TAC has 35 members among them Morocco, Egypt, Chile, Norway, Brazil, and Britain are the newest ones. Some important unions such as the European Union are keen on using the economic capacities of the association.

Iran can develop its infrastructure and increase export to the member states. The Islamic Republic can also provide the ASEAN with the energy resources they need. It is expected that the lifting of the US sanctions on Iran will pave the way for the improvement of economic cooperation between the ASEAN member states and Iran. 


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