Economy, Business And Markets

South Korean Firms in Tehran Seeking Business Partners

South Korean Firms in Tehran Seeking Business Partners
South Korean Firms in Tehran Seeking Business Partners

Korean Expo 2016, a three-day exhibition for South Korean products, was held at Tehran International Fair last week.

Organized by the Korea Trade-Investment Promotion Agency (KOTRA), the event was part of a follow-up to South Korean President Park Geun-hye’s historic state visit to Tehran earlier this month, The Korea Times reported.

On the first day of the event, over 4,000 Iranians, including some 200 businessmen, came to see the Korean-made goods, with strong hopes for potential investments and technology transfers from South Korea.

Iran’s Vice President Sorena Sattari participated in the exhibition’s opening ceremony, expressing his expectations for the transfer of technology between Seoul and Tehran.

“Iran is the second-largest country in the Middle East with a highly educated population of 81 million,” said Sattari during his welcoming speech. “With Korea’s technology transfers and investments, the two countries will enjoy a win-win situation in the global market.”

A total of 81 South Korean companies, mostly small- and medium-sized enterprises, including 20 power-related material suppliers, 17 machinery makers, 8 steelmakers and 12 automotive suppliers, participated in the event to meet potential business partners.

“Korean-made goods offer high quality with a competitive price. Many companies even started to imitate South Korean products,” said local tire dealer Afshin Sadeqi.

“I don’t want to sell imitations inferior to the quality of Korean tires. So, I came here to meet Kumho Tire officials. I will come here tomorrow as well to further develop the agency deal I’d like to have with Kumho.”

Ehsan Shoarian, chairman of Iranian market researcher Niktadbir, said.

“More Korean companies should do business in Iran. The synergy of the two countries will be enormous. Iran offers quality human resources that Korean companies can put to work. If Korean companies transfer their technologies and build plants here, there will be more job opportunities for Iranians as well.”

On the same note, Mojtaba Mousavian with Trade Promotion Organization of Iran strongly emphasized the need for sharing technology from South Korea.

“President Park Geun-hye’s state visit promised a 25 billion dollar investment in Iran, but the more important thing Iran is looking for is to learn from Korea’s technological knowhow,” said Mousavian.

“Since economic sanctions were lifted by the West, Iran has been trying to reduce its dependency on oil and natural gas exports. The country is now putting its utmost efforts into developing manufacturing. I believe Korea is a good partner for us in these endeavors.”

Following the lifting of economic sanctions, Iran has established plans to become the manufacturing center of the Middle East, enhancing cooperation on energy and overseas plants with other countries.

It chose to focus on petrochemical, automotive and steel as its strategic industries, as currently global industrial powerhouses, including South Korea and China, are jockeying to win advantageous positions in the country’s markets for these three.