June 04, 2008

Iran China Ties Build Despite Pressure

At a press conference today Iranian ambassador to China Javad Mansouri said the two countries are increasing ties particularly in energy development.

China is buying more oil from Iran and imports of petrochemicals have grown from under $100 million (US dollars) a decade ago to an expected $1 billion this year. China accounts for around ten and a half percent of Iran's petrochemicals exports.

Last month Shanghai hosted an "Investment Opportunities in Iran" conference. Trade with the "Dragon's Head region (Shanghai, Jiangsu, Anhui, & Zhejiang) was in the billion$ in 2007.

Chinese oil majors are developing big oil and gas fields in China and Chinese auto manufacturers will soon supply Iran with passenger cars. Iran is one of many emerging markets for autos with sales over 1 million/year already. Chery will be rolling out the popular QQ sometime this year. And Chang'An Auto, partner to Ford Motors in China, just started a joint venture with the Iranian PIDF enterprise to assemble Chang'An's 1.3 liter mini, Benben, with production of 250,000 a year expected around 2012.

Meanwhile, geopolitical pressures of the EU and USA will leave this huge emerging market to China unless wiser heads soon prevail.

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It's unfortunate that the leader of Iran wants the destruction of Israel. China and the Jews both suffered, one under the Germans, the others under the Japanese. They should be the best of friends!
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