TEHRAN (Iran News) –The strategic committee for broadening relations of Iran and Africa was held in Iran’s Chamber of Commerce where the participants called for broadening economic cooperation with African states.
In the meeting which was held in the presence of some Iranian economic activists involved in trade with Africa, Head of Africa Department of Oran Foreign Ministry Mr. Rezaee said that soon the direct flight between Iran and Lagos of Nigeria will be launched and part of problems for trade with Africa will be resolved.
He said marine and air transportation are the major problems for boosting trade with Africa, adding that if Iran wants to be more active in Africa, then the government should pay subsidies like what rivals of Iran do.
He added that this subsidy can be in form of cash or fuel because owners of ships claim their ships return unloaded from Africa after delivering their shipments and this makes them suffer losses and the government should compensate through subsidies.
He added that soon a weekly direct flight between Tehran and Lagos will be launched which can help the trade between Iran and Africa.
Meanwhile director general Arab-Africa Department of Iran Chamber of Commerce Mr. Shahram Khasi Pour said that Africa is a rich area in terms of minerals and agriculture and it has a 600-billion-dollar consumption market fitting with Iran’s products. He went on to say that unfortunately the trade volume of Iran with African countries stood at $1.2b last year and it shows that comparing to other rivals, Iran has insignificant share of Africa’s market.
He added that the trade interaction with African states is not satisfactory and both private and state sectors should work together for broadening economic cooperation with Africa and reiterated that this readiness in the chamber is available and all wait to see what will be the government’s steps in this field.
Khasi Pour emphasized that transportation and banking interaction are two major hurdles in way of broadening relations with Africa and the private sector expects these problems to be resolved by the government.
Meanwhile Head of Iran-East Africa Joint Chamber Mr. Masoud Berahman deplored that Iran’s share of 1000b-dollar turnover of Africa is very insignificant and reiterated Iran should plan to remove hurdles to increase its share of this market.
He criticized the government for not holding the Africa Headquarters in the past three years and said that lack of direct flights, high customs tariffs and banking problem are of the major hurdles in way of trade with Africa which should be resolved. He added that due to these challenges, Iranian traders show no interest for entering Africa’s market.
Berahman noted that Iran should prepare a roadmap for this continent for focusing on trade with which African countries cooperate more.
Meanwhile Head of Iran-South Africa Joint Chamber of Commerce Mr. Babak Hedayati said that one of the important reasons for progress of countries like Turkey is that the private sector is the leading sector and the government follows it but in Iran it is otherwise and there is no belief and trust on the private sector.