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Broader Ties on Horizon With Spain, Portugal

Broader Ties on Horizon With Spain, Portugal Broader Ties on Horizon With Spain, Portugal

President Hassan Rouhani’s efforts to repair ties with the West reached a new level this week as Iran is concurrently holding trade negotiations with two European nations, Spain and Portugal.

An Iranian trade delegation, led by head of Tehran’s Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture, Yahya Al-Es’haq, traveled to Madrid on Monday to take part in an economic conference organized by Spain Chamber of Commerce, a move that is likely to open up a new chapter in Iran’s relations with the fourth largest economy in the eurozone.

“Bilateral trade has been stifled owing to the sanctions imposed by the West on Iran’s economy,” said Jaime Garcia Legaz, head of the Secretariat of State in Spain’s Ministry of Economy and Finance, who expressed hope that trade between the two countries would increase “to $6 billion per annum.”

Al-Es’haq, for his part, pointed to the historic ties between the two countries and cited “oil, gas and related industries, railway, auto-industry and agriculture” as suitable areas for economic cooperation.

Oil and gas trade comprise the biggest share of economic activities between Tehran and Madrid. Spain is one of the major buyers of Iran’s crude oil, with 15% of its oil imported from Iran. Currently, nearly 1,500 Spanish companies work in different sectors in Iran, including electricity and renewable energies. Spain’s private sector has shown interest in further investments in Iran.

  New Chapter  

In another meeting, between Iran’s chamber of commerce, mines, industries and agriculture and Portugal’s Global Trade and Investment Agency in Tehran, both parties called for broadening bilateral economic ties.

“We are looking to open a new chapter in trade relations with Portugal and creating a mutually beneficial, win-win industrial and economic partnership,” the head of the international affairs department of Iran’s chamber of commerce, mines, industry and agriculture, Ali Akbar Farazi told the Portuguese delegation at the meeting.

He further referred to Portugal as a “leading European country in production of olive oil, paper and shoe,” adding that Portugal’s “significant progress in nanotechnologies and new energies will be welcomed in Iran.”

Member of Portugal Global Trade and Investment agency’s board of directors, Pedro Acosta also said: “Portugal is looking for foreign investors who view Portugal as a gateway to global market.”

He also invited Iranian businessmen to take advantage of “Portugal’s unique economic potential,” adding that the Portuguese government has recently initiated economic reforms aimed at simplifying the investment regulations.

He also referred to Portugal’s tax regime, which he described as “the best among all EU countries”, as an additional incentive for the companies investing in Portugal.

The Portuguese delegation team headed by Portugal’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Rui Machete is on a two-day visit to Iran to hold talks with President Hassan Rouhani and meet cultural and business leaders.

Financialtribune.com