Economy, Domestic Economy

TCCIMA Hosts Swiss, Turkish Delegates

TCCIMA Hosts Swiss, Turkish DelegatesTCCIMA Hosts Swiss, Turkish Delegates

Tehran Chamber of Commerce, Industries, Mines and Agriculture hosted two trade delegations on Saturday, one from neighboring Turkey and another from Switzerland.

The high-ranking Swiss delegation, led by Pierre Maudet, Geneva’s councilor in charge of security and economy, included representatives of 60 Swiss companies from various sectors, including capital market, investment, finance and banking, transportation, food, agriculture, health, education, law and tourism, TCCIMA’s news portal reported.

During a late-Saturday meeting, the chamber’s secretary-general, Bahman Esghqi, referred to Iran's proximity to 15 countries and access to a 400 million-strong market as a great opportunity for Swiss investors. He, however, noted that the information gap among traders and businesses of both sides, in addition to financing and banking problems, is the main obstacle to expansion of bilateral trade.

According to Esghqi, in 2015, Iran’s exports to Switzerland stood at $10.5 million, while imports reached $2.5 billion worth of goods from the European country.

Maudet said Geneva is ready to reinforce cooperation with Iran, calling for exchange of trade delegates and “stronger commercial dialogue” to lay the foundation for further ties.

The Swiss official and his accompanying delegation arrived in Tehran on April 24 for a five-day stay. On Wednesday, they met with Securities and Exchange Organization of Iran’s chairman and deputies in Tehran.

Earlier on Saturday, a 70-member delegation from Istanbul Chairman of Industry, headed by its chairman Erdal Bahcivan, attended a summit in TCCIMA headquarters to discuss bilateral trade ties.

In a meeting with Bahcivan before the summit, TCCIMA chief, Masoud Khansari, noted that bilateral trade ties have at times been overshadowed by political issues between the two neighbors.

“The onus is on the two countries' private sectors to avoid letting political tensions get in the way of economic interactions," he said.

According to Khansari, difficulties related to money transfer, banking and customs issues, as well as transportation, are the main barriers to bilateral trade.

“Turkey is currently Iran’s fourth biggest trading partner,” he said, adding that both sides should promote joint investment in Iran and Turkey as well as in other countries to increase bilateral trade.

Khansari referred to petrochemicals, apparel, power and energy production and plastic industries as potential fields for joint investment.

Iran-Turkey trade currently stands at $10 billion per annum and officials from the two sides aim to increase the figure to $30 billion.

Promotion of trade ties was also discussed in a Saturday meeting between Bahcivan and Minister of Telecommunications and Information Technology Mahmoud Vaezi who said two-way trade could potentially increase to $100 billion.