Iran has signed an agreement to build 50 passenger ships for the Ivory Coast, in its latest deal struck with a West African nation.
The Iran Shipbuilding and Offshore Industries Complex (ISOICO) signed on Wednesday the memorandum of understanding to build 50 sea taxis for the Ivory Coast.
It was signed on the sidelines of the Scientific and Economic Cooperation Conference of Iran and West African Countries (IRANWAC), held in Tehran and consisting of delegates from West African states.
The signing of the memorandum was attended by senior officials from both nations, including the Iranian vice president for economic affairs Mohsen Rezaei.
Iran, which wields the ISOICO as reportedly the largest shipbuilding complex in West Asia, has set its sights on Africa over the past decade as one of its primary targets to expand its influence beyond the Middle East.
The signing of the memorandum to build the 50 vessels for the Ivory Coast is seemingly part of that goal, as is its hosting of the first Scientific and Economic Cooperation Conference of Iran and West African Countries (IRANWAC) this week.
Iran’s shipbuilding industry, with more than 50 years of history, has been on a journey toward development since its establishment, and nowadays the Islamic Republic is considered one of the world’s major shipbuilders, manufacturing and repairing all kinds of giant vessels.
However, despite all the improvement achieved in the shipbuilding industry over the past few years, there are still many challenges in the way of this old but newly developed industry which calls for special attention.
Modernizing the shipbuilding industry is not only a commercial necessity but also a must for the Islamic Republic as the country heavily relies on its oil industry whose existence is dependent on ocean-going vessels.
As a vital sector in Iran’s shipbuilding industry, repairing must be given special significance, since for many years Iranian oil tankers and large cargo vessels have been sent to foreign yards for periodic overhauls and this has imposed huge costs on the country’s economy.
Considering Iran’s special geographical position in the region and its shared borders with several coastal countries both in the south and north, shipbuilding has always been among the major industries strongly entangled with the country’s economy.
Middle East Monitor / ABC Flash Point News 2023.