In the Name of God
Ladies and gentlemen
I am pleased to have this opportunity to speak at this gathering about shipping cooperation between Iran and Denmark. Our two countries have had a long history of relations dating back to at least 80 years.
With Denmark being a nation of seafarers and Iran boasting a number of deep sea ports in the strategic Persian Gulf, it is natural for the two nations to develop and promote cooperation in all areas of Maritime industry including shipping, and port management.
With the recent developments, particularly after the lifting of the economic sanctions, and banking restrictions, economic cooperation between Iran and the rest of the world has entered a new phase. Under the conditions conducive for development of ties with Iran it is worth bearing in mind other advantages Iran has to offer:
In addition to its own market of 80 million Iran is the gateway for its landlocked neighbours such as Afghanistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, kerkizestan, Azerbaijan and Armenia to the free waters of the world.
Iran's coastline along the Persian Gulf stretches for 3,000 kilometers with major ports such as Bandar Abbas, Bushehr, Lengeh, Chahbahar and others.
Iranian islands in the Persian Gulf including Kish and Qeshm have excellent capacities for development of shipping cooperation. In a feasibility study some years ago it was reported that a railway connection between Qeshm Island and mainland Iran, could open a new trade route between Western Europe and the Far East with almost half the time it takes to use the other routes.
Chahbahar is one particularly important port with ample potential for development. It is a recognized gateway for access to the landlocked CIS countries. Already China, Russia and India are competing for investment in this all important port.
The Chabahar connection to Delaram-Zaranj Highway, already provides land-locked Afghanistan with a shorter and safer access to the Persian Gulf. This is the most efficient route for Afghanistan to trade with the rest of the world.
Iran's deep sea ports and extensive rail and road network connections, including links to these ports, can make Iran a thoroughfare for international trade.
Two railway lines connect Bandar Abbas and Chahbahar to the North and Russia.
There are 10,000 kilometers of railway line under use in Iran with a further 10.000 kilometers under construction. Iran is the connecting point of the north - south and east-west corridors as well as being the main link in the Silk Road.
In the past few years the Oman - Iran -Turkmenistan-Uzbekistan corridor and Iran - Turkmenistan - Kazakhstan corridor have become operational. The two railway links have a potential for transport of 20 million tons of goods annually. Besides the railway links Iran has 300,000 kilometers of interconnecting highways and roads.
Iran can also offer safety and security which are important elements in transit of goods. This makes Iran the safest and most efficient trade route for its neighbours.
I would very much like to see Danish shipping companies, which have a considerable share in world trade also make up a good portion of trade between our two countries.
Iran has an immediate need for about 50 billion dollars of investment. I am pleased to say that interest in the Iranian market has been overwhelming and I hope Danish companies can use this window of opportunity to get a share of this market.
Ladies and gentlemen, thank you for your patience