Economy, Domestic Economy

Role of Joint Chambers Highlighted in Expanding Trade

Role of Joint Chambers Highlighted in Expanding TradeRole of Joint Chambers Highlighted in Expanding Trade

Sanctions relief will boost transparency and competition in the Iranian economy, the President’s Chief of Staff Mohammad Nahavandian told a recent meeting of Iran-Italy Chamber of Commerce in Tehran.

“The Iranian nation has weathered the adverse impacts of economic sanctions [imposed by the West over Iran’s nuclear energy program], but they have also paid the costs of lack of transparency and competition in the economy,” he was quoted by Financial Tribune’s sister newspaper Donya-e-Eghtesad as saying.  

“However, patience is bearing fruit and the time has finally come for the Iranian consumers, producers and service providers to have more competitive alternatives.”

He called on the Italian financial institutions and firms to pave the way for a stronger presence in the Iranian economy.

Referring to the progress in nuclear talks between Iran and the P5+1 group and the growing number of visits by foreign trade delegations in the past one year and half, he said: “The time is ripe for the joint chamber to make a new move and bring the two economies closer.”

He praised Italy’s SME-reliant economy and said the Iranian government is determined to support small and medium enterprises to increase employment.

Mauro Conchatori, Italian ambassador to Tehran, echoed the same hopes for a new chapter of cooperation between the two countries in post-sanctions era and said: “Despite the sanctions, Italy has made every effort to maintain ties with Iran. We placed Iran’s booth next to Italy in Milan Expo 2015 as a symbolic move reflecting our readiness to expand cooperation with Iran as soon as the sanctions are lifted.”

The envoy considered joint ventures as an important tool in the new round of cooperation and said Italy should participate in production in Iran.

“Technology transfer to Iran is also another area of interest for Italy. To this end, banks and financial institutions can play an important role,” he said adding that Sace is an export insurance firm in Italy that can provide investment support.

“Joint chambers can not only enhance bilateral economic relations but also social and political ties between the two countries.” said Ahmad Pourfalah, chairman of Iran-Italy Chamber of Commerce.

The nature of responsibilities of joint chambers entails high level of professionalism and academic background for their members, he added.

On the quality of relations between Iran and Italy, he said in recent years, Italy has maintained support for the joint chamber away from the anti-Iran propaganda in the West.

Mohsen Jalapour, the newly-elected chairman of Iran Chamber of Commerce Industries and Mines, who was also present at the meeting, outlined his plans to focus more strongly on joint chambers and said: “In the past few years, ties with Europe have weakened due to the sanctions. Joint chambers should lead efforts to revive commercial relations.”

In addition, he said, joint chambers can explore and identify mutual capacities to develop cooperation with other countries.

“Plans are underway to set up a ‘post-sanctions office’ within Iran Chamber of Commerce, Industries and Mines to make the best of opportunities that would surface once the sanctions are lifted,” Jalapour noted.

Foreign trade data released by Iran Customs Administration indicate that during the first quarter of the current Iranian year (March 21-June 21), Italy was among the top 10 export destinations for Iranian products. The two countries exchanged $331 million worth of goods during the period, of which $125 million accounted for exports to Italy and $206 million for imports.