Economy, Domestic Economy

Gov’t Gives Greenlight to Private Sector Rapprochement With US

Gov’t Gives Greenlight to Private Sector Rapprochement With USGov’t Gives Greenlight to Private Sector Rapprochement With US

The government has tacitly given the greenlight to the private sector to forge trade ties with the US, announced head of Iran chamber of commerce, industries, mines and agriculture, Gholamhossein Shafei on Saturday, Mehr News Agency reported.

“Unofficial rapprochement between the two countries’ private sectors can pave the way for the establishment of a joint chamber of commerce between Iran and the US,” said Shafei, noting that the chamber has been mulling over the establishment of a joint chamber for the past 10 months.

“We decided to consult the government before taking any initiative to set up a joint chamber and the government advised us to initially forge relations between the Iranian and American private sectors before formal establishment of a joint chamber,” Shafei explained. He noted that American entrepreneurs have already formed an independent Iran-US chamber of commerce but added that the body is not officially endorsed and functions only as a firm.

The official’s remarks come on the heels of a three-week unofficial visit by 15 Iranian traders and entrepreneurs to the US at the invitation of US-based NGO, the Learning Institute to introduce Iran’s commercial capabilities to the American business community.

Also, encouraged by the prospect of a nuclear deal, an American delegation comprised of 22 entrepreneurs, investors and consultants traveled to Iran in mid April this year to explore avenues for investments following the removal of anti-Iran sanctions.

Besides, reports say senior US business delegations  from aviation companies to oil groups and food conglomerates have been discreetly traveling to Iran or holding meetings with Iranian businessmen over the past year in preparation for the day when restrictions on doing business with one of the world’s biggest untapped markets is removed.

According to Shafei, although many European and Southeast Asian countries enjoy the same level of technological advancement as the US, trade with the US is particularly important as some of Iran’s traditional export commodities [such as carpet and pistachio] have a favorable market in that country.

Diplomatic relations between Iran and the US severed following the 1979 Islamic Revolution which led to the overthrow of former Shah of Iran. The election of President Hassan Rouhani in June 2013 marked a dramatic shift of tone in bilateral relations. Initiated by a direct phone call between President Rouhani and his American counterpart Barack Obama, the two countries started to hold frequent face-to-face meetings to find a solution to a decade-long standoff over Iran’s nuclear energy program.