Iran, Azerbaijan enjoy opportunities for maritime transportation cooperation

Iran and Azerbaijan are two neighbor countries and friends with lots of cooperation in various sectors which has grown in recent years and can go further, said Jalil Eslami, deputy director of ports and special zones affairs of Iran’s Ports and Sailing Organization.

“Maritime cooperation can help Iran-Azerbaijan relations. There are agreements on cooperation in the maritime sector and there are sisterhood pacts between Iranian and Azerbaijani ports,” he told Trend.

Eslami in particular pointed to maritime transit and tourism as one of the sectors with great development opportunities.

The cultural common grounds provide the view that maritime passenger transports can be improved, he said.

Having in mind the growing tourism attractions, it is necessary to provide the infrastructure for transporting over 25 million passengers by 2025, and improving the quality and quantity of maritime transportation services, he noted.

Azerbaijan and Iran plan to jointly submit the similar elements of the cultural heritage of the two countries to UNESCO and jointly organize tours, the Ministry of Culture and Tourism of Azerbaijan said May 29.

Having a large amount of Azerbaijani population is a profitable factor for the Islamic Republic to attract tourists from Azerbaijan. Iran unilaterally abolished the visa regime with Azerbaijan in 2009.

Masood Soltanifar, vice-president and head of Iranian Cultural Heritage, Handicrafts and Tourism, has previously said that Iran plans to boost the number of visiting tourists to 20 million people in 20 years, with an income of over $30 billion. Soltanifar added that currently 950 tourism-related projects are underway in the country.

He said that last Iranian year (which ended March 20), Iran received 96 percent more tourists than the preceding year.