Economy, Domestic Economy

EU’s Iran Mission to Initiate Industrial Dialogue

EU’s Iran Mission to Initiate Industrial DialogueEU’s Iran Mission to Initiate Industrial Dialogue

Following an official visit by EU officials to Iran earlier in July, the European block is planning another visit to take place in October with a focus on promoting cooperation in a range of industrial sectors.

The upcoming visit has been announced in a press release by the European External Action Service. The following is the full text:

"A delegation of European Union officials visited Iran from July 11-14 to discuss deeper cooperation in the fields of economic policy, trade, investment and finance.

"The European Union is the largest integrated market in the world, comprising over 500 million people and represents a major opportunity for two-way economic and investment flows.

"The visit was led by Eric Mamer, director at the European Commission Directorate General for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs.

"Meetings were held with counterparts in the Iranian administration, including the Ministry of Industries, Mining and Trade; the Ministry of Economy and Finance; the Central Bank of Iran; the Islamic Republic of Iran Customs Administration and Iran Chamber of Commerce, Industries, Mines and Agriculture.

"Members of the EU delegation also included officials from the Commission Services for Trade, Economy and Finance, Taxation and Customs, External Action Service and representatives from the European Central Bank and the European Investment Bank.

"As recently stated by the EU High Representative Federica Mogherini at the time of the high-level visit to Tehran on April 16, the European Union actively supports Iran's integration in the world economy and its membership in the World Trade Organization.

"During the visit and as a follow up to the joint statement by the high representative and Foreign Minister [Mohammad Javad] Zarif, it was agreed to initiate a broad-based industrial dialogue to be launched on the occasion of a European Economic Mission to Tehran, planned for October 17-19, to be led by EU Commissioner Elzbieta Bienkowska, together with representatives of European Business associations.

"This dialogue could cover a number of key sectors of mutual interest such as textile, automotive, raw materials, tourism and construction, but also horizontal issues like business environment and SME Development.

In addition, a regular macroeconomic dialogue is envisaged with the Ministry of Economy and Finance."

While in 2004, EU's exports to Iran reached almost €12 billion, they dropped by 46% to less than €6.5 billion in 2014 due to western sanctions imposed against Iran over its nuclear energy program.

Now with the removal of sanctions as of January 16 (Implementation Day) following last year's nuclear deal between Iran and world powers (the US, the UK, China, Russia, France and Germany), economic exchanges are already picking up.

In the first four months of 2016, trade between the European Union and Iran increased by 22%, Mogherini was quoted as saying in a press conference with Zarif in Norway in mid-June.