Economy, Business And Markets

Call for Investment Rather Than Trade

Call for Investment Rather Than Trade
Call for Investment Rather Than Trade

Efforts by the Rouhani administration to attract foreign direct investment (FDI) into the country have gained strong momentum, with officials now calling on foreign trade players to shift their focus on investment activity.

The need for FDI was the main theme of speeches delivered by Iranian government officials in Iran-Korea Business Forum in Tehran on Sunday.

“It is essential for the Korean companies to move from trade-focused activities towards investment and joint venture with Iranian companies, through which they can not only promote their trade cooperation with Iran but also expand their business into the regional countries. This is a win-win deal for both sides,” said Mohammad Khazaie, president of the Organization for Investment, Economic and Technical Assistance of Iran (OIETAI) during the forum held in Zarin Hall of Parsian Azadi Hotel.    

In Iran, he said, “by foreign investment we do not mean mere finance but even more important are two things: first, to attract modern technology in which (South) Korea has been very successful and second, to expand ties in trade and investment activities,” Khazaie added.

Elsewhere he expressed hoped that the forum will open a new chapter of economic cooperation between Iran and South Korea.

Iran-Korea non-oil trade fell to $4.1 billion in 2013, of which $360 billion accounted for Iran’s export to Korea and the remaining $ 3.8 billion for imports from the South Asian country.

As the next speaker at the event, Valiolah Afkhami-Rad, president of Iran Trade Promotion Organization (ITPO) repeated government’s determination to develop foreign ties but underlined the need for South Korea to “diversify and deepen their level and scope of cooperation with Iran through joint ventures and investment as an effective mechanism to develop bilateral ties.”

 He listed “steel, mining, high-tech, automobile, gas and petrochemical, fisheries, jewelry, precious and semi-precious stones and technical engineering” as the main areas with potential for foreign investment.

“Iran is not a sales market but a base for production, services and joint venture”, he said in another part of his remarks.

Both officials underlined the fact that foreign investment regulations in Iran are “so supportive” so that the capital brought and profit made by investors will be all guaranteed.

 Korean Side

In his address to the event, Woong-Yeob Song, the Korean Ambassador to Tehran, praised the cultural and historical commonalities between the two Asian nations, hailing recent victories gained by Iranian sports team in Incheon, Korea.

He recalled “Tehran Street” in Seoul as a center of economic prosperity and said “Korea has never named a street after a foreign capital. This indicates the level of closeness between the two countries.”

Young-Ho Oh, the president of Korea Trade and Investment Promotion (Kotra) who had travelled to Iran to attend the event, also gave a speech. He regretted that the trade volume between the two had fallen recently.

He considered Iran an old friend of South Korea and a country rich in natural resources enjoying 5000-year-old of civilization. “Iran connects Asia, Middle East and Europe,” he noted, hoping that the forum would help business ties between Iranian and Korean companies strengthen again.

Sunday’s event hosted high-level business managers from several Iranian companies including IDRO and MAPNA together with counterparts from Korean companies on top of them LG, Samsung Electronics and Hyundai.

The forum is followed by Korea 2014 Expo which will open tomorrow in Hall No. 7 of Tehran International Exhibition Fairground. During the exhibition, 57 Korean companies will display their products in healthcare, car parts, construction interior, home appliances and cosmetics.