Economy, Domestic Economy

Moscow Eyes Big Deals

Moscow Eyes Big Deals
Moscow Eyes Big Deals

Moscow is hoping to strengthen its expanding relationship with Tehran by clinching industrial export deals worth more than $21 billion, as it prepares to send one of its biggest trade delegations to Iran next month.

Sanctions on Iran are expected to be gradually lifted in the next months following the nuclear accord struck with world powers, FT reported.

Denis Manturov, Russia’s minister of trade and industry, will head a group of companies operating in the civil and defense sectors, including Gazprom, Russian Helicopters and United Aircraft Corporation, the maker of Sukhoi jets, in mid-December.

Rostec, Russia’s biggest defense conglomerate, said the focus would mainly be on civil exports in areas such as aerospace, infrastructure and energy, although Russia’s defense companies are also eying up the potential of the Iranian market when sanctions are finally lifted.

President Vladimir Putin arrived in Iran for the first time in eight years on Monday to strengthen political and economic ties between the two countries, which have found common cause in the fight against insurgent groups in Syria.

Russia was also one of the key players in the negotiations over Iran’s nuclear program. This month, it also announced it had signed a contract to start deliveries of S-300 surface-to-air missile systems to Iran by the end of 2016.

Among the companies hoping to clinch big export deals at next month’s trade fair is Russian Helicopters, which is looking to increase sales of serially produced civilian helicopters in Iran and others Middle East countries, it said.

Alexander Mikheev, chief executive of Russian Helicopter, was in Tehran last week with Dmitry Rogozin, deputy prime minister in charge of the defense industry, to lay the groundwork for Putin’s visit and for further deals at the trade fair.

Trade delegations are almost a weekly affair in Tehran now that the country has agreed on curbs on its nuclear program with global powers against sanctions removal.

George Osborne, UK chancellor, has said he wants to take what might be Britain’s biggest-ever trade delegation to Iran next year.

The attraction is not only Iran’s vast oil and gas reserves but an economy forecast to grow rapidly once economic sanctions are lifted.

According to some estimates, Iran is set to contribute nearly as much as Italy to global growth in the next decade, roughly $270 billion.

Russia’s energy minister recently told reporters that trade with Iran, which totaled $1.6 billion last year, could rise to $10 billion in the near future. His comments were made to reporters at a meeting of the Russian-Iranian Commission on Trade and Economic Cooperation.