Domestic Economy

1st Iran-West Africa Economic Summit Convenes in Tehran

1st Iran-West Africa Economic Summit Convenes in Tehran
1st Iran-West Africa Economic Summit Convenes in Tehran

The First Economic Cooperation Summit of Iran with West African countries was held in Tehran on Monday.
Emphasizing Iran's readiness to transfer knowhow and new technologies to brotherly and friendly countries, including African countries, President Ebrahim Raisi addressed the meeting and called it necessary to facilitate the participation of the private sectors of Iran and these countries, including the removal of cumbersome and ineffective regulations and tariffs.
"The current statistics of trade and the exchange of experience between Iran and Africa are not acceptable, and according to the capacities and efforts of the authorities of the Islamic Republic of Iran and West African countries, it is expected that the cooperation and economic and commercial relations between them will see a transformation,” he was quoted as saying by APO Group.
Trade between Iran and African countries reached 2.33 million tons worth $1.18 billion during the first 10 months of the current Iranian year (March 21-Jan. 20), registering a 14.82% and a 22.39% rise in tonnage and value year-on-year, respectively.
South Africa with 541,082 tons (up 10.18%) worth $293.63 million (up 33.82%) was the main trade partner during the period. It was followed by Mozambique with 349,305 tons worth $189.17 million and Ghana with 287,747 tons (down 44.43%) worth $152.62 million (down 51.92%).
Data released by the Islamic Republic of Iran Customs Administration show Iran exported 2.24 million tons of goods worth $1.1 billion to the African continent during the period, registering a growth of 13.47% and 18.91% in terms of weight and value, respectively.
South Africa with 530,416 tons (up 8.21%) worth $282.52 million (up 30.92%) was Iran’s main export destination in Africa. Mozambique with 349,305 tons worth $189.17 million and Ghana with 283,673 tons (up 42.52%) worth $144.11 million (down 53.63%) came next. 
Ivory Coast, Djibouti, Algeria, Egypt, Guinea, Libya, Morocco, Mali, Macao, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mozambique, Nigeria, Sudan, Senegal, Somalia, Togo, Tanzania, Uganda, South Africa, Zambia, Ethiopia, Algeria, Kenya, Tunisia and Rwanda were other customers of Iranian goods.
This is while imports hit 84,179 tons worth $77.6 million to register a 74.66% and a 110.37% growth in weight and value, respectively.
Tanzania topped the list of African countries in terms of exports to Iran during the period, as a total of 49,997 tons (up 50.33%) worth $19.58 million (up 102.75%) were exported to Iran. It was followed by Kenya with 3,200 tons worth $15.27 million and South Africa with 10,666 tons worth $12.11 million.


Record High Exports in Fiscal 2021-22

Iran’s exports to African countries exceeded $1.19 billion in the last Iranian year (March 2021-22), registering a 107% rise compared with the year before, which is a record high, according to the director general of Arab and African Affairs Department of the Trade Promotion Organization of Iran.
“Our top 10 export destinations were Ghana with $353 million, South Africa with $254 million, Nigeria with $125 million, Mozambique with $98 million, Kenya with $77 million, Sudan with $73 million, Algeria with $67 million, Tanzania with $55 million, Somalia with $29 million and Ethiopia with $11 million,” Farzad Piltan was also quoted as saying by IRNA.
The official noted that Iran’s main products exported to Africa during the period were iron and steel ingots, urea, liquid butane and propane, floorings, iron and steel profiles and construction materials.
“Exports to South Africa saw the highest increase of 570%. Last year, close to 553,000 tons of goods were sold to that country worth $254 million. This is while in the year before, only 27,000 tons of goods worth $38 million were exported to the African state,” he added. 
Iran’s main exported products were urea ($280 million), hot rolled steel bars ($11 million), liquefied butane ($8 million), liquefied propane ($5.4 million), sulfur ($4.6 million), floorings ($2.8 million) and steel ($1.6 million).
Piltan noted that a total of $60 million worth of goods were imported from African states during the same period, registering a 37% decline compared with the previous year. 
The main exporters to Iran were Tanzania, Ghana, Ethiopia, South Africa and Kenya.
Imports from South Africa, he added, declined by 25% during the period, to reach $6 million. 
The main reason for the rise in Iran’s exports to Africa is that Iranian producers and exporters have, in recent years, boosted their market research and marketing to secure footholds in new markets. 
“They have also adapted themselves and found new ways of conducting trade under economic sanctions,” the TPO official said. 
“Iran has taken measures to increase the number of commercial delegations it sends and receives to and from African states in the past few years, organized many exhibitions and joint economic commissions, and entered into talks with private and public sectors of Africa.   
Piltan noted that as development projects have increased in some African counties, demand for certain commodities is on the rise in these states, providing ample opportunity for Iran to further increase exports.  
“We have many plans that will be implemented within the next five months. We are establishing an African Affairs General Bureau in the Trade Promotion Organization, which will focus on managing and expanding commercial ties with African states,” he said.
“Two Iranian trade centers are being launched in Uganda and Tanzania, and a ‘Technology House’ in Kenya. We have scheduled joint economic commissions to be held with officials and businesspeople from Nigeria, Ghana, Mali and Niger. We will also be hosting Congo and Algeria’s ministers of industries and transportation.”


Stepped Up Economic Diplomacy

The Iranian government has been taking measures to increase the number of “business centers” across the African continent.
By establishing these centers, Iran seeks to facilitate its commercial ties in target countries by providing assistance to foreign businesspeople and advice on best ways to enter Iranian markets.
According to Mohammad Sadeq Qannazadeh, the caretaker of TPO’s Arab and African Affairs Department, more than 400 business delegations from Africa have visited Iran since the beginning of the current fiscal year in March 2022.
“Many contracts have been signed for the development of infrastructure and sea and air transportation, and by the end of the year, agreements between Iran and South Africa and other shipping lines will be concluded,” he was quoted as saying by IRNA.

Add new comment

Read our comment policy before posting your viewpoints