Venezuela and Iran Urge Countries to Supplant Free Trade with Fair Trade

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Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez and his Iranian counterpart, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad have urged countries to replace free trade agreements (FTA) with a ‘fair trade’ model which focused on country-specific needs by taking into account each country’s market realities. Chávez termed the present global economic crisis as a spectre and a cancer which even affected the relations among nations.

Iran and Venezuela have jointly opened a bank to facilitate funds for projects of both countries as a parallel to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank. The bank with an initial capital of $1.6bn has been instituted to free both countries in minimising their dependence on global funds. After the successful launch of Chávez’s brainchild, he said “The big banks of the world have sunk, but here a new bank is being born”.

Chávez said the relations between Venezuela and Iran was a good example for other countries to replicate which as underscored the need for trade that was fair and complementary to one another. Both countries are taking several steps to fix the impact of the global economic crisis to their countries by identifying their potential and optimizing it through new bilateral co-operation which spans ten years.

Apart from the bi-national bank venture, both parties are reviewing the possibility of constructing two jointly-owned refineries. Iran and Venezuela have come closer in trade ties particularly owing to their anti-US stance though they are geographically far apart.

The visit of the Venezuelan President had also become a platform to further expand the co-operation with Iran in scientific, agricultural, energy, industrial and military deals. Chávez had arrived Tehran after attending the second Arab-South American Summit at Qatar, and will travel to Japan and China to complete the itinerary.


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