(AGI) Rome - Minister of Infrastructure and Transport, Graziano Delrio, spoke to AGI on the eve of his departure for Iran along with Minister for Agricultural, Food and Forestry Policy, Maurizio Martina. They will be going with a delegation of about 180 business people working in the infrastructure and construction, oil and gas and agricultural sectors. "It will be a very important trip" because after the talks and the memorandum of cooperation signed during the visit of President Hassan Rouhani, "now it is time to take a further step in the cooperation between companies," he said. Minister Delrio continued: "Iran is a very important gateway to the whole of the East, to Afghanistan, to Pakistan, as it is for the countries of the Caucasus and the whole of Central Asia, given its geo-strategic position, and Italy stands as a gateway to Europe in the Mediterranean. We have prepared a series of dossiers on infrastructure, a sector - where the Iranians intend to invest a lot."
"The Iranian Republic intends to strengthen the country's infrastructure, considering 10,000 kilometres of railways, thousands of kilometres of motorways, ports and airports, and is in favour of partnerships between the public and private sectors, and so the market is also opening," said the minister, stressing that the Iranians "have a lot of confidence in the abilities of Italian companies, including many that have always been close to them, and can boast a historical presence as in cases of ANAS (National Autonomous Roads Corporation) and Italferr (FS railways group)". In Tehran therefore, commented Delrio, "there will be days of very practical work to examine the individual dossiers. There are a number of high-calibre projects, with billions of euros of investments in new materials and designs. Now it is a matter of transitioning from a purely technical partnership to real projects with their financial plans bringing their operational abilities into play."
The road to Tehran is already open for ministry: "We have signed several memoranda of cooperation in Italy in all areas of infrastructure and transport. The political and institutional framework is in place thanks to these agreements, and now it is time to take a further step in cooperation between companies," the minister continued. "Certainly it is not entirely easy given that Iran is emerging from an embargo, but it is an ancient country with a great many young people, aiming to create new opportunities. And it seems that the Iranians are very determined and very efficient," he concluded. (AGI) .