Economy, Domestic Economy

New Chapter in Belgium Ties

New Chapter in Belgium TiesNew Chapter in Belgium Ties

Trade ties between Iran and Belgium is to enter a new phase following a recently-signed MoU between the two countries’ chambers of commerce, Mohsen Khalili Araghi, head of Iran-Belgium joint chamber of commerce, said on Wednesday.

“We are trying to encourage Belgian investors to start investing in the Iranian market,” he was quoted by ISNA as saying.

Trade between Belgium and Iran, albeit still at a low level, has steadily grown over the past few years, with Belgium playing a key role in connecting Iran’s market to Europe.

“Belgium can play a significant role in providing Iran with the latest technologies,” Khalili noted, expressing hope that “a new chapter” will open in relations with the European country as soon as the ongoing nuclear talks between Iran and the P5+1 (five permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany) culminate in a permanent deal.

Belgium’s main exports to Iran, which include pharmaceutical products and photography equipment, have remained stable in the past few years but experienced a significant uptick in 2008. Belgium’s imports from Iran have substantially increased every year since 2002.

World Bank figures show a 29 percent increase in Belgian exports to Iran -- from $545 million in 2007 to $703 million in 2008. The figures also show a continued increase in imports from Iran from $267 million in 2007 to $358 million in 2008.