Domestic Economy

Spanish Gov’t Supports Trade With Iran

Spanish Gov’t Supports Trade With Iran
Spanish Gov’t Supports Trade With Iran

Head of Tehran’s Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture, Yahya Al-Es’haq on Tuesday said Madrid has promised to extend support to the Spanish companies planning to invest in Iran.

“According to Spain’s deputy economy minister, the Spanish government will support and facilitate trade activities between Iranian and Spanish companies,” he was quoted by IRNA as saying, referring to an official meeting he recently held with Spain’s Secretary of State for Trade, Jaime Garcia Legaz in the capital Madrid.

Al-Es’haq, leading a team of 30 business delegates, visited Madrid, Zaragoza, and Barcelona in late January to discuss possible avenues for extending mutual trade relations between Iran and Spain.

Spanish companies are willing to collaborate with Iran’s small and medium size industries, and are also interested in Iranian investment, he said, adding that Spain has been successful in attracting over $740 billion in foreign investments so far, while more than half of the Spanish investments have been in overseas markets.

“Spanish companies generally have a positive view about working with Iranian companies as they continued their business activities in Iran even during the (western) sanctions,” he added.  

“A Spanish company recently announced having exported more than $150 million worth of port equipment to Iran, nearly half of which was manufactured in Iran,” he said without elaboration.   

He further noted that the volume of trade between the two countries, “which was $6 billion at the time when Spain was a major consumer of Iran’s oil,” has reduced drastically to slightly over $400 million, as a result of the “disruption in Iran’s oil export to the European country,” referring to the sanctions imposed by the US and the EU on Iranian oil exports.

Spain is still considered a major buyer of Iran’s crude oil, importing 15% of its oil from Iran. Nearly 1,500 Spanish companies currently work in different sectors in Iran, including electricity and renewable energy. Spain’s private sector has expressed interest in investing in Iran.

Referring to the existing banking restrictions in Iran (due to sanctions) which he said could interfere with the trade between the two countries, Al-Es’haq said: “Banking exchange between the two countries will be overseen by Spanish unions’ representative in Tehran.”

He also urged the Central Bank of Iran to find solutions for easier money transaction between the two countries.

 Auto Cooperation

In separate remarks, the member of Tehran’s chamber of commerce, industry, mines and agriculture, Mohammad-Reza Najafi Manesh, said that Iran and Spain have held “positive negotiations” to begin joint ventures in the auto industry.

“Positive negotiations have been held between Iranian and Spanish car and auto-parts makers to start joint ventures,” he said.