Economy, Business And Markets

112% Jump in Iran-France Trade

French shipping giant CMA CGM announced the resumption of CIMEX 9 service from China to Iran last month.
French shipping giant CMA CGM announced the resumption of CIMEX 9 service from China to Iran last month.

Iran’s trade with France stood at $3.18 billion during Jan.-Oct., 2017, registering a staggering rise of 112% compared with last year’s corresponding period

According to Tasnim News Agency, citing Eurostat data, Iran exported $2.009 billion worth of commodities to the European country during the 10 months, registering a 108% increase year-on-year. Oil was the main product exported to France.

Iran’s imports from France witnessed a 119% growth YOY, reaching $1.17 billion during the same period.

Following the conclusion of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action–the formal name of the nuclear deal Iran signed with world powers in July 2015 and implemented in January 2016, France has arguably been the most proactive countries in the European Union to resume business ties with Iran.

Soon after the nuclear deal, Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani went to Paris. Afterwards, two foreign ministers, Laurent Fabius and Jean-Marc Ayrault, as well as ministers of economy, transport, foreign trade, agriculture and higher education, traveled to Tehran.

The biggest contract was signed by the oil giant Total: a more than 50% stake in an investment of about $4.8 billion for the development of an offshore gas field in the Persian Gulf.

Other important contracts have also been signed or are under negotiation: The sale of more than 100 Airbus aircraft, ongoing negotiations for the sale of about 40 medium-haul aircraft, PSA (Peugeot-Citroen) contracts with top Iranian automakers Iran Khodro and SAIPA, that of Alstom with Iranian companies IDRO and IRICO, Renault Group’s joint-venture deal with Iranian carmakers on August 7, among many other joint venture contracts in various fields.

The result has been a 235% increase in trade between Iran and France in 2016, Michel Sapin, former economy and finance minister, said.

French business group MEDEF and its local structure CFAT (French Business Center of Tehran) organized a business delegation to Tehran and Isfahan in September.

The delegation led by Yves-Thibault de Silguy, vice chairman and senior lead director of Vinci and chairman of the French-Iranian Business Council, comprised representatives of about 50 companies active in the fields of infrastructure, transportation, energy and environment. It was also accompanied by Jean-Baptiste Lemoyne, secretary of state to the minister for Europe and foreign affairs.

The mission’s aim, according to Medef, was “to meet with the recently appointed Iranian authorities and discuss the priorities of the new government”.

It was the second French delegation to visit Iran in 2017, the fifth since the first election of President Hassan Rouhani in August 2013 and the first major European delegation since the Iranian presidential elections of May 2017.

Meanwhile, French shipping giant CMA CGM announced the resumption of CIMEX 9 service from China to Iran last month.

With CIMEX 9, CMA CGM now provides a third direct service between Asia and Iran on top of CIMEX 6 and CIMEX 8, reported. It also covers northeast Asia, loading at Taiwan, central and south China to Iran, which provides fast connections to Chabahar in transshipment via Bandar Abbas connecting CMA CGM’s Indiagulf service.

CIMEX 9 rotates through Kaohsiung, Shanghai, Ningbo, Xiamen, Shenzhen-Da Chan Bay, Bandar Abbas and Jebel Ali. The service in Kaohsiung and Shanghai-WGQ with Shanghai to Bandar Abbas transits in 19 days while the run from Ningbo to Bandar Abbas takes 17 days.

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