Economy, Business And Markets

Call for Prioritizing Financial Ties During Visit of UK’s FM

Call for Prioritizing Financial  Ties During Visit of UK’s FM
Call for Prioritizing Financial  Ties During Visit of UK’s FM

Boosting banking relations with Britain is a top priority of Trade Promotion Organization of Iran, as it will facilitate transactions between the two countries’ companies, the organization’s director of Europe and Americas Department announced.

“Iranian banks only have two or three active banking branches in Britain, but the European country does not allow them to use pound [British currency] in their transactions and their banking services are strictly limited by these regulations,” Behrouz Hassan-Olfat was also quoted as saying by IRNA.

Given the British foreign secretary’s plan to visit Tehran, the TPOI official deems it necessary to take measures to improve the condition of Iranian banks’ branches in Britain.

Last week, Iran’s Foreign Ministry Spokesman Bahram Qasemi confirmed reports about British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson’s visit by the end of 2017.

Hassan-Olfat emphasized the necessity of reaching mutual agreements to support investments and economic relations.

“Incentive packages to support foreign direct investments, customs cooperation and extension of finance credit lines should top our agenda to expand economic relations with Britain,” he added.

The official noted that according to the Islamic Republic of Iran Customs Administration, during the previous fiscal to March 2017, Iran exported $41.4 million worth of commodities to Britain while importing $412.32 million of goods in the same period.

The volume of Iran’s exports to and imports from UK during the previous fiscal registered a year-on-year growth of 15.5% and 15.43%, respectively.

The highest level of trade between Iran and the UK was registered in March 2007-8 at $2.1 billion while March 2011-12 marked the lowest level at $176.73 million.

Hassan-Olfat said trade deficit with UK improved a notch in the last Iranian year to March 20, 2017 and reached $326 million while the figure exceeded $376 million in the year before.

According to the TPOI official, imports from UK stand at $507 million higher than exports to the European country during the first seven months of the current Iranian year to October 22.

“The leap in our trade deficit with Britain has resulted from the Agriculture Ministry’s import of a significant amount of livestock and agricultural products from the European country, but there has been no growth in the import of machinery and industrial equipment,” he said.

Carpets, petrochemical products, steel and iron products, and dates are Iran’s major exports to Britain, while corn feed, beans, medical supplements and industrial machinery are Iran’s major imports from the UK.

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