The ambassador of Iran in Madagascar and the countries of the Indian Ocean (Mauritius, Seychelles, Comoros) announced the cancellation of visas for Iranian nationals and said: All Iranians can get a free 14-day visa that can be extended for another 14 days only by holding a passport to these countries; Also, the government officials of these countries are interested in establishing a direct Iranian airline as soon as possible, either regularly or chartered, between the two countries, so that part of the high cost of plane tickets and the distance of the route can be solved in this way.
In an interview with Iranian news outlets, Hassan Ali Bakshi emphasized the presence of Iranians in the Indian Ocean countries: the history of the presence of the people of Shiraz in the islands of the western Indian Ocean, countries such as Mauritius, Comoros, Seychelles and Madagascar is very old and relevant to the 15th century AD. And it goes back about 500 years ago. It has been mentioned in history that there was a sea route between Iran and these regions that had a function similar to the Silk Road and was known as the “Spice Route”. In 1506 AD, the Iranians entered the Comoros archipelago and established the Shirazi dynasty. Currently, the oldest mosque on the island of Mayotte, which is one of the four islands of Comoros, was built by the people of Shiraz in 1538 and is known as the Shirazi Mosque. Currently, a carpet called mohair or mohair is woven as a brand belonging to Madagascar in Africa, which is similar to the patterns of Iranian carpets. By studying the Malagasy language, words from the Persian language can also be found in it. It is also known that the Shirazis had established a business in the north of Madagascar in the city of Majunga. The ambassador of Iran in Madagascar believes that the cancellation of visas will ensure the citizens of the two countries to travel easily and carefree, and due to the problems in obtaining visas, its cancellation will be very effective in the speed of tourists’ choice of destination.
Referring to the fact that investment laws in Iran are complicated and cause investors disappointment, Mr. Ambassador added: Nearly 30% of the inhabitants of the mentioned countries are Muslims and wealthy Shiites called “Khoja”. Shiites, nicknamed Khoja, are of Indian origin and often travel as families, and they have the most requests for the development of religious tourism, pilgrimage to shrines, Mashhad and Qom. They are looking for a cultural identity and they did not know Iran before, but now that they have become familiar with Iran, they are showing great interest in investing and even living there. A number of them have invested in our country in recent years and have even settled.
The ambassador of the Islamic Republic of Iran in the field of Indian Ocean countries informed about the attraction of a number of these people in the field of health tourism, referring to the limited medical facilities and huge treatment costs in the mentioned countries.
He added: Many of these people travel to European countries or India for treatment, while despite the very good medical infrastructure, Iran will be a suitable destination for these people, and for this purpose, a memorandum of understanding will soon be signed with it will be signed by the health officials of Madagascar-Mauritius and the ministers of tourism and health of Iran.
Ali Bakshi further pointed out the various capacities of these countries for Iranian businessmen and investors and said: the production of these countries is mainly sugarcane and they import more than 90% of agricultural and livestock products from other countries. And it can be said that these countries are very good market for Iranian products. Also, due to the special attention paid to tourism and especially due to the occurrence of drought and climate changes in different regions of the world, the attention to this country and living in it has increased, and as a result, the construction issue has had a good boom, hence the opportunity. And it is a suitable market for the producers of construction materials and their export. In addition, he said: Iran can use the sea route, the formation of which goes back many years, to export its products.
The Iran and Africa Business Club also congratulates all the dear compatriots and businessmen of Iran and Africa on this diplomatic event and hopes that, God willing, we will see the cancellation of bilateral visas with other African countries as well.
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