China and Iran have been long-standing trade partners for over a decade, and that trend has continued into 2022. According to the Ministry of Commerce, China remains Iran’s largest trading partner for the tenth consecutive year. Shu Jueting, a spokesperson for the ministry, shared that China-Iran trade reached a total of $15.8 billion in 2022, a 7% year-on-year increase.
This relationship was further strengthened when Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi recently visited China for a three-day state visit, starting on February 14. During the visit, China and Iran exchanged views on improving bilateral economic and trade relations. Shu stated that the talks were fruitful, and both countries reached positive results. China is eager to work closely with Iran to implement the measures agreed upon by the two heads of state.
According to Shu, the next step is for China and Iran to deepen pragmatic cooperation in trade and other fields, import more high-quality products from Iran, and continue their collaboration on the Belt and Road Initiative. This project aims to improve the trade and infrastructure network between Asia, Europe, and Africa. Shu stated that this partnership has already been beneficial for both countries and that China is committed to continuing to strengthen this collaboration with Iran.
In addition to the Belt and Road Initiative, Shu highlighted that China is looking to strengthen multilateral cooperation between the two countries through various frameworks, including the Shanghai Cooperation Organization. This organization was created to promote regional stability and security and includes countries such as China, Russia, Kazakhstan, and Kyrgyzstan, among others. Shu stated that China is committed to deepening the comprehensive strategic partnership between China and Iran and will inject new growth impetus into this collaboration.
The strengthened economic and trade ties between China and Iran come at a time when Iran has faced international sanctions and political isolation. The United States withdrew from the 2015 Iran nuclear deal and reimposed sanctions on the country in 2018, causing a significant decline in Iran’s oil exports. As a result, Iran has been increasingly looking towards China to bolster its economy.
In conclusion, the deepening economic and trade relationship between China and Iran is a positive sign for both countries. The Belt and Road Initiative and multilateral cooperation are expected to provide new growth opportunities for both nations, and China’s commitment to this partnership will likely have a significant impact on Iran’s economy.