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Iranian, Croatian Bankers Discuss Trade Hurdles

Iranian, Croatian Bankers Discuss Trade HurdlesIranian, Croatian Bankers Discuss Trade Hurdles

Representatives of three Iranian banks met with their Croatian counterparts on Wednesday to discuss banking hurdles on the way of trade ties and ways of overcoming them.

The delegation from Bank Sepah, Bank Pasargad and Bank of Industry and Mine, including a member of parliament and 30 members of Iran Chamber of Commerce, Industries, Mines and Agriculture active in the fields of construction, food, energy, banking, carpet and textile, travelled to Zagreb.

The trade delegation, led by ICCIMA Chairman Gholamhossein Shafei, plans to hold meetings with their Croatian counterparts and attend a joint business forum.

"Privredna banka Zagreb is a commercial bank owned by Intesa Sanpaolo [group of Italy] and holds a total of €13.5 billion in assets," Bozo Prka, chief executive of the second largest bank in Croatia, said while introducing his financial institution to the Iranian representatives, the official news website of ICCIMA reported.

"We used to work with Iran before the sanctions and we are striving so that collaborations would restart after the nuclear deal," he added.

Iranian bankers proposed that correspondent banking relations be reestablished as a first step to overcome the hurdles, noting that no legal barriers persist and the only significant problem is the dependence of European banks on their American counterparts.

Prka promised his side would do more in line with strengthening banking ties while responding to ICCIMA Energy Commission Deputy Hamid Reza Salehi who had said Croatian companies can join those who have allocated foreign finance to Iran.

"If a project is ready for investment, we can also assist it in an indirect manner," Prka said.  

MP Hadi Qavami stressed the necessity of establishing banking ties between Iran and Croatia and said Iran expects to boost ties with other nations as a result of the nuclear deal and aims to "use the maximum capacity of all the opportunities that exist" in the case of the Eastern European country.

"We expect Croatia to restore its monetary transactions with Iran so that the volume of foreign trade between the two nations would rise," he said.

Bilateral trade between Iran and Croatia was meager in 2016, as Iran exported $596,000 worth of commodities to Croatia and imported $25,683 worth of goods.

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