Domestic Economy

Italian Business Delegation Expected in Tehran

Italian Business Delegation Expected in TehranItalian Business Delegation Expected in Tehran

Following the visit to Italy of President Hassan Rouhani, during which 17 memorandums of understanding were signed in the presence of Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi, the Italian government is sending a 310-member business delegation to Iran on Monday.

Deals worth up to €17 billion ($18.4 billion) were signed during President Rouhani's Italy visit, Italian news agency AGI reported.

They include a €5.7 billion with Italian metal industry firm Danieli to supply heavy machinery and equipment to Iran as well as a €3.5 contract with Italian oil and gas contractor Saipem based on which the Italian side is to revamp and upgrade the Shiraz and Tabriz oil refineries.

The incoming Italian mission, promoted by the ministries of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Economic Development, Agricultural, Food and Forestry Policies, and Infrastructure and Transport, is organized by the Italian employers' association, Confindustria, and the Italian trade agency ICE.

The mission aims to evaluate opportunities in several industrial sectors during its three-day visit.

Led by Italian Minister of Infrastructures and Transports Graziano Delrio and Minister of Agriculture, Food and Forestry Policies Maurizio Martina, it will include representatives of 197 companies active in the fields of infrastructure, construction and transport, gas and oil, banking and agrifood.

Focus will be placed on the production chains that could best support Iran's growth and trade flows between the two countries over the coming years.

Meetings will begin in Tehran on Feb. 9 with a plenary session featuring speeches by Maurizio Martina and Graziano Delrio. These will continue on Tuesday and Wednesday with workshops and speeches by political authorities and experts, which will be followed by B2B meetings between Italian and Iranian companies. The meetings will aim to build on the memorandums of understanding signed on Jan. 25, starting with the roadmap signed by Prime Minister Renzi and President Rouhani, with a view to signing new agreements.

With this new mission, Italy confirms its role as a privileged partner of Iran in the post-sanctions phase and aims to foster foreign direct investments in Iran which, among other things, would help upgrade the country's infrastructures and industrial plants.

Italy has traditionally had close economic ties with Tehran. It was Iran’s biggest trading partner in Europe before commercial ties plummeted as a result of sanctions.

Since 2012, annual trade between the two countries has nosedived from €7 billion to €1.2 billion. As much as 58% of Italy’s exports to Iran are in the mechanics sector, followed by chemical products at 8%.

“Italy is eager to develop long-term mutual cooperation with Iran rather than simply maintaining its presence in Iran’s consumer market,” Italy’s Economic Development Minister Federica Guidi has said, adding that Italy seeks to regain its pre-sanctions stature in Iran.