Democracy increases economic growth, say Iran, Indonesia
JAKARTA (The Jakarta Post/ANN) - Indonesia and Iran both say they have found that genuine political independence and democracy have paid considerable returns in the form of the economic development enjoyed by the countries’ citizens.
Speaking during a celebration at Hotel Indonesia Kempinski Jakarta of the 39th anniversary of the victory of the Islamic Revolution, Valiollah Mohammadi said since 1979 Iran has implemented democracy and granted various political rights to its citizens.
He claimed as one of the achievements that Iran had successfully held free elections: “Iran has held 43 national elections with the most recent participation rate of 73 per cent in presidential election in May 2017.”
Meanwhile, he said, in the present time, Iran is the 18th most effective economy in the world. “Iran had successfully attracted US$52 billion of FDI [foreign direct investment] in a year, as well as ranked 16 in the science production and fifth in nanotech.”
He said the state visit of President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo in 2016 to Tehran had brought constructive development in diplomatic relations.
“In the past year we have witnessed an exchange of high-ranking political, economic, academic, cultural and technological delegations and bilateral trade had experienced an eye-catching boost,” he said. “In the existing potential in Iran and Indonesia and the determination of the leaders of the two countries to develop bilateral ties and bonds, as well as arrange agenda to anticipate cooperation between the two countries, we believe we will witness sizable and notable leaps in the relations.”
Speaking as the guest of honor of the event, Communications and Information Minister Rudiantara said both countries should promote stronger cooperation in the oil and gas, electricity and renewable energy fields. “We should work closely together to find ways and means to address trade barriers and to foster a more intensive engagement between business communities,” he said.
Trade relations between the two countries had improved following the implementation of the Iran nuclear deal between the Islamic republic and world powers.
Between January and September 2017, Indonesia’s trade with Iran was worth $476 million, a 167 per cent year-on-year increase from $174 million in 2016. Indonesia’s main export commodities to Iran were paper and paper products, as well as palm oil, while Indonesia’s imported from Iran petroleum, gypsum, iron and steel products and sulfur.
Indonesia, through state-owned energy giant Pertamina is now looking to invest in the oil and gas sector in Iran, while Iran is planning to invest in another power plant project in Indonesia.
President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo separately told the heads of Indonesian representative offices abroad that Indonesia must continue to attract and seek opportunities for investment in non-traditional markets, including Iran.
Jokowi said Indonesia was prepared to invest in Iran in the oil and gas sector. “We have obtained the Mansouri oil and gas field. That’s the largest field with very big deposit we will have. Now it is owned by Pertamina,” he said.
During the event, the Iranian embassy served a number of its country’s traditional foods, such as tea, lamb and chicken shawarma. It also features a performance of traditional music by Tanbour Navazan Bisoton.