Within an Email exchange between me and the Executive Committee for the Iran Pavilion, I got the chance to pose a few questions to Hossein Esfahbodi, Commissioner General of Iran in Expo Milano 2015, as well as Deputy Minister of Industry, Mine & Trade & Chairman of the Board & Managing Director of Iran Int’l. Exhibitions co.(IIEC), who thankfully, thoroughly responded to them.
P.Honisch: Could you tell me a little bit on your objectives of participating in Expo?
H. Esfahbodi: Expo is an important international event, with tens of millions of visitors and it contributes to the development of cultural exchanges between the nations. It displays the national identity of participating countries, the number of which often amounts 150 countries and more. In the international exhibitions, the world’s states present their latest technological achievements and industrial advancements. Expos will not only create a mutual understanding
between the nations and make them acquainted with the world’s culture and civilization, but also will develop the trade between countries, expand tourism industry and transfer technology to other countries.
As Expo Milano 2015 has elected the theme “Feeding the Planet, Energy for Life” in order to find a solution for controlling the food poverty which is presently the issue of 900 million of the people of the world, it was an important event.
The countries participating in Expo Milano 2015 can use the valuable experiences of other countries with respect to increasing productivity in cultivation of food products, methods to decrease the wastes of food products and optimize the consumption patterns and get acquainted with the state‑of‑the‑art technologies applied in the agricultural section of other countries.
The pavilion of the Islamic Republic of Iran in Expo Milan 2015 was established in an area of 1950 Sqm., in a very suitable location and it has been recognized as one of the top pavilions in terms of architecture, design and interior and exterior decoration and it was greatly welcomed by the visitors.
The visitors of Iran Pavilion can get acquainted with ecological conditions of Iran’s weather and different local products and traditional foods as well as a wide range of Iran’s for‑export products. Iran stands in the 10th place among the countries of the world in terms of tourism attractions and historical works, and 5th place in terms of natural attractions and the Pavilion of the Islamic Republic of Iran could properly introduce our tourism attractions to the visitors.
Iran’s record of participating in expos dates back to 19th century. Iran had participated in Expo London in 1871 and in Vienna Expo in 1873, following the invitation of Austrian Government. In the second half of 20th century, Iran has participated in different expos including Montreal, Tai Chun (South Korea), Lisbon (Portugal) and in the recent 15 years it has also had an active presence in such Expos as Hannover (Germany), Aichi (Japan), Shanghai (China) and Expo Milano 2015, and it has shown its willingness for expansion of cultural, political, social and economic relations with other nations of the world.
P.Honisch: Tell me more on the global values of Iran.
H. Esfahbodi: Value is a relative concept. Because of their climatic and cultural conditions, different societies may have different interpretation of values. The values accepted by our country’s Muslims mainly originate from the ideas, and teachings of the holy religion of Islam. In our opinion (as Iranians), the citizens of the world’s society would better consider the following points as values:
· Establishing peace and mutual understanding among the countries and settlement of international disputes through amicable ways
· Contributing to indigent countries, and defending the rights of oppressed and underdominion nations
· Equality of all people before the law
· Equal distribution of social wealth among people, and removal of discrimination and injustice
· Respecting the family and the main constituting elements thereof (parents, and children)
· Increasing the level of economic and social welfare, and in general the living standards of people
· Officially recognizing the right of education for all people of the society, (endeavor to learn science wherever it is)
· Providing economic, and social security in order to set the ground for economic growth and development
P.Honisch: What are your Ideas and Future Ideals?
H. Esfahbodi: Establishing peace and security and justice throughout the world, terminating the domination of big powers and providing welfare and peace for all citizens of the world community.
P.Honisch: What are the criteria for assisting the Future Society?
– Unity among nations
– Respecting the sovereignty of countries in determining their own destiny
– Development of economic and business relations among the third‑world countries
– Modifying the structure of United Nations and changing it into a powerful international entity, in order to defend the real peace and justice
P.Honisch: How will Iran as a New Partner in International Economies look like?
H. Esfahbodi: The Islamic Republic of Iran has always interested in expanding its economic relations with the world, and the nuclear deal with 5+1 States and lifting of tyrannical sanctions that were against the international rights, have set a suitable ground for Iran’s comeback to the international economy. Iran’s strategic situation in the Middle East, and its membership in north‑south corridor, and our mineral materials that amount 60 million tons, including 158 billions barrels of crude oil and 33600 trillion cubic meters of natural gas and a widespread
market of 78 million people, have turned our country into an attractive and potential market. Each month, tens of economic and business delegations travel to Iran in order to develop and/or resume their economic and business relations with our country. Iran has a capability of attracting 20 million tourists per year and the oil, petrochemical and industry section of Iran has the potentiality of attracting over 200 billion USD of foreign investment within a 5‑year period. At present, our country is the safest country in the Middle East, Central Asia and north of Africa.
Countries of the world look at Islamic Republic of Iran as a trust‑able and big partner for development of their economic, business and industrial relations. Iran’s economic policies in the next five years have been specified in the sixth economic development plan (2016‑2020), the draft of which is under preparation.
At the end, I should express my deep appreciations because of your interest for having an interview with me and introducing the economic characteristics of the Islamic Republic of Iran in your publication.
P.Honisch: Thank you.
Pascal Honisch is currently doing an online Journal on the EXPO, as part of a research project for the University of Vienna, and by approval of the Bureau International des Expositions.