Domestic Economy

Major-League Spanish Delegation in Tehran

Major-League Spanish Delegation in TehranMajor-League Spanish Delegation in Tehran

A high-ranking 70-member Spanish delegation arrived in Tehran Sunday evening for a three-day visit aimed at enhancing mutual cooperation in various fields.

Several Spanish Cabinet members, including Foreign Minister Jose Manuel Garcia-Margallo, Industry, Energy and Tourism Minister Jose Manuel Soria and Development Minister Ana Pastor, as well as representatives of various Spanish companies are part of the delegation.

The Spanish ministers are scheduled to meet a number of Iranian officials, including Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, Minister of Industries, Mining and Trade Mohammad Reza Nematzadeh, Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh and Minister of Roads and Urban Development Abbas Akhoundi. Paying a short visit to the city of Isfahan on Tuesday is also part of their itinerary.

Parallel with the official meetings, representatives and managers of Spanish companies are also planning to attend business conferences and hold meetings with their Iranian counterparts.

Representatives of Spanish companies active in the fields of oil, gas, petrochemicals, railroads, airports, power plants, heavy industries, electronics, tourism and pharmaceuticals are accompanying the delegation, hoping to grab deals in Iran after the sanctions imposed against the country by the West over its nuclear energy program are lifted. Among them are representatives of Repsol, Spain’s largest oil company.

Iran arrived at an accord with the P5+1 (the five permanent UN Security Council members plus Germany) in Vienna on July 14, based on which the sanctions will be lifted in exchange for Iran limiting its nuclear energy program.

In an interview with IRNA ahead of the Spanish delegation's visit, Iranian ambassador to Madrid Mohammad Hassan Fadaeifard noted that more than 1,000 small- and medium-sized Spanish companies were present in Iran's energy and infrastructure sectors before the sanctions were imposed and these firms are hoping to resume their relations with Iran.

He referred to tourism industry, infrastructure and energy as key areas for cooperation with the Spanish companies.

"Spain is currently the third most visited country in the world (next only to France and the United States). The country was visited by 65 million tourists in 2014, generating more than €63 billion in revenues," he said.

"Iran's tourism sector has large untapped potential. We could not only learn from Spain's experience in attracting tourists, but also in facilitating foreign investments in tourism-related projects and hotel construction."

Fadaeifard suggested that Iran could cooperate with Spain in upgrading the railroad fleet and development of high-speed train systems.

"Spain is among few countries having the technical capacities to develop high-speed train services with speeds of more than 300 kilometers per hour," he noted.

Investment in energy equipment and systems, production of liquefied natural gas and development of solar and wind power plants were mentioned by the Iranian envoy as other areas in which Spanish companies could take part.

Trade between the two countries stood at $321 million last Iranian year (ended March 2015) down from $5.24 billion in 2011.