Economy, Domestic Economy

3 European Delegations Pursuing Business Cooperation

3 European Delegations Pursuing Business Cooperation 3 European Delegations Pursuing Business Cooperation

The influx of trade delegations to Iran is continuing, as the country opens up in the new economic climate generated by the nuclear deal.

The competition is tightening, as foreign companies are racing to get a piece of action and take advantage of opportunities unfolding in the post-sanctions era—a process accelerated since the implementation of the nuclear deal Iran signed with world powers in January 16. The date marked an official end to years of stringent sanctions imposed by the West against the Islamic Republic.

This week, Tehran is hosting three delegations from Europe.

> Dutch Mission

The Netherland's Vice Minister for Foreign Trade Marten van den Berg is scheduled to arrive in Iran on Monday for a three-day visit to discuss issues of mutual interests with Iranian officials, ISNA reported.

The Dutch official will be accompanied by representatives of 30 Dutch companies active in medical care, energy and water sectors.

"Iran’s location provides opportunities to become a regional economic hub. Ambitious Iranian plans aimed at modernizing and diversifying the economy provide numerous opportunities for bilateral connections and partnerships," he has been quoted as saying in a document published by the Dutch Embassy in Tehran.

"I believe that Dutch companies are in a prime position to assist the Islamic Republic of Iran in its efforts to modernize and diversify their economy."

Van den Berg also announced that Dutch Minister of Economic Affairs Henk Kamp and Minister of Infrastructure and Environment Melanie Schultz van Haegen will be visiting Iran in May and October respectively.

Last year, Iran hosted several Dutch delegations and officials, including Minister of Economic Affairs Henk Kamp and Foreign Minister Bert Koenders.

> Italian Mission

A high-ranking Italian delegation headed by Prime Minister Matteo Renzi is due to arrive in Tehran on April 12, according to Italian Ambassador inTehran, Mauro Conciatori.

The delegation will comprise representatives of major Italian companies eager to sign contracts with Iranian firms, IRNA reported.

"During the visit, final contracts are to be signed in economic and commercial fields between private and governmental sectors of the two sides. There has been enough talking and we are avidly awaiting our entrance into the action stage," said Conciatori in a meeting with Valiollah Afkhamirad, deputy minister of industries, mining and trade.

"Iran Trade Promotion Organization and Chamber of Commerce, Industries, Mines and Agriculture can be of great help in introducing and connecting companies from the two countries and can accelerate cooperation," he said.

Renzi's visit comes after President Hassan Rouhani, at the head of a 310-strong delegation, paid a visit to Italy late in January, when bilateral cooperation was discussed in the fields of agriculture, transportation, oil and gas and infrastructure.

The two sides signed four memoranda of understanding regarding railroads, oil and gas, setting up exhibitions and after-sales services.


> Estonian Mission

A 12-member delegation, including representatives of Estonian businesses, is in Iran to establish closer ties between the two countries.

According to Estonian Public Broadcasting, this is the first such high-level visit to Iran in the Estonian history.

The delegation is scheduled to be in Iran through April 12. Estonian Minister of Foreign Affairs Marina Kaljurand is expected to join the business delegation on Saturday.

The Estonian Chamber of Commerce and Industry noted that many Estonian businesses have already established initial contacts in Iran and some degree of communication between partners is already taking place.

The high-level visit will help businesses take the next step toward more concrete agreements in their cooperative relationships, which is a vital goal of the visit.

The business delegation includes representatives of logistics and transportation businesses that are interested in the local trade corridor, which could be used as a transport route for various goods.

Meelis Ojassoo, counselor at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs' External Economic and Development Cooperation Department, noted that Iran’s economy is undergoing a great deal of change and that the first steps are being taken toward a more open economy.

According to Ojassoo, Estonia’s energy sector, transportation, logistics, tourism, IT, as well as its food sector are of greatest interest to their Iranian counterparts.

The visit kicked off on Friday with a business forum and was scheduled to be followed by meetings between Estonian and Iranian businesses and an introduction to the local business environment.

In addition, the delegation planned to meet with the Iranian Minister of Economic Affairs and Finance Ali Tayyebnia as well as representatives of local trade organizations.

The delegation’s visit to Iran has been arranged as part of the Estonian Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s Development Cooperation Project, which is funded by the Estonian Ministry of Foreign Affairs' Development Cooperation and Humanitarian Aid funds.