Economy, Auto

IKCO to Set Up JV in Oman

IKCO to Set Up JV in OmanIKCO to Set Up JV in Oman

Iran Khodro Company, Iran's largest auto manufacturing firm, will set up an assembly line as a joint venture in its Persian Gulf neighbor Oman.

IKCO CEO Hashem Yekezare said Iran's Ministry of Industries, Mining and Trade has been a major supporter of the company in helping manufacture vehicles in Oman, ILNA reported.  

"We are looking forward to expanding trade relations with countries that have had good economic relations with Iran in the past," he said in a meeting with Yahya Al Jabri, chairman of the Special Economic Zone Authority of Duqm, Oman.

Yekezare stressed that the project must be launched as soon as possible. Inviting Oman's minister of commerce and industry to Iran to visit IKCO, he noted that with the support of Ali Massoud Al Sunaidi, the project will hopefully bring about positive outcomes for both countries.  

Highlighting the strategic plan devised for Iran's auto industry by Iran's Minister of Industries, Mining and Trade, Yekezare said vehicle production is expected to increase by 3 million units for local and foreign markets.

Jabri noted that he will provide all the support he can to accelerate the process.

Pointing to the history of relations between Iran and Oman, the official said trade relations must also develop similar to the healthy political relations between the two states.

Jabri said IKCO's production technologies are praiseworthy and if IKCO plans on buying land, setting up a production plant or starting joint ventures, Oman's Development and Investment Fund will have to be consulted.

"Establishing a manufacturing plant in SEZAD has certain benefits, including easy access to maritime ports and airports, which pave the way for expanding exports to Asian markets," he said.

SEZAD can be a strategic export hub to countries such as India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and East Asia.

Saeed Tafazzolli, head of IKCO's Exports and International Affairs Department, also noted that Omani officials from the country's Development and Investment Fund had toured IKCO last December and both parties agreed to establish a joint venture so that IKCO would start producing in Oman.

With the establishment of the production plant, IKCO will at first start to manufacture cars from semi-knocked-down kits. The Omani party will be investing in the project while IKCO will share engineering services and provide auto parts.

Approximately 15,000 vehicles are expected to be produced at the site annually.