Time for French Firms to Enter Iranian Market

Time for French Firms to Enter Iranian MarketTime for French Firms to Enter Iranian Market

Iran’s ambassador to France said there are huge opportunities for French companies to make investments or manufacture goods in Iran.

“At present, the ground is prepared for French companies to make investments in Iran and produce goods for the domestic market and [export to] other countries,” Ali Ahani also said in a recent speech to French businessmen in Paris, Fars News Agency reported on Saturday.

The ambassador said French companies should be aware of the advantages of Iran’s economy in West Asia, including an 80-million domestic market, the possibility of entering neighboring markets through Iran, a massive educated workforce and vast energy and mineral resources.

Ahani noted that the two countries’ economic cooperation can develop in the fields of oil and gas, nuclear energy, renewable energies, auto manufacturing, pharmaceuticals and medical equipment, agriculture and fishery, communications, transport, tourism and hoteliering, environment, water resources management and knowledge-based activities.

  Role of Banks

Ahani said it is up to French companies and banks to use opportunities for cooperation with Iran, with the backing of the French government.

“I hope big banks will start close cooperation with Iran and adapt themselves to the needs of French firms, as this will improve the chance of success for French companies in the Iranian market,” he said.

The diplomat said French firms should become aware of Iran’s domestic capabilities and not seek to only sell their products.

“For more success, they should look for partnership with Iranian counterparts and transfer of technology and production in Iran,” he said.

Ahani said the two governments are devoting efforts to enhance bilateral cooperation, pointing to frequent visits between high-ranking Iranian and French officials after the July 2015 nuclear deal between Iran and world powers.

The deal helped remove UN, US and EU economic sanctions in exchange for Tehran curbing its nuclear activities, triggering intense efforts by the Iranian administration to boost a weakened domestic economy by attracting much-needed foreign investment and technology.

President Hassan Rouhani, on his first foreign trip after the implementation of the deal in January, visited France and signed an array of deals worth around $33 billion.

Last week, French Ecology, Sustainable Development and Energy Minister Segolene Royal was in Tehran to discuss energy cooperation and environmental issues with top Iranian officials. Ahani said French Parliament Speaker Claude Bartolone will travel to Iran next week.

“We are trying to make preparations for a trip by French Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault to Iran in the coming months, to form a joint economic commission between the two countries,” he said.