TEHRAN (Iran News) – Head of Iran’s Trade Promotion Organization (TPO) Alireza Peyman-Pak has said the country is taking the necessary steps to increase annual trade exchanges with African countries to $5 billion by the Iranian calendar year 1404 (begins in March 2025).
Peyman-Pak said the trade with the mentioned countries is expected to reach $2.5 billion by the end of the current Iranian calendar year (March 20, 2023), IRNA reported.
Referring to the preparation of the country’s trade development roadmap at the beginning of the work of the 13th administration, the official said: “In this roadmap, major factors including exports and the share of different sectors is specified, and in the case of Africa, the priorities and targets for trade with different countries and the requirements for reaching these targets are determined.”
Peyman-Pak put the share of African countries in Iran’s export basket at $1.2 billion, saying: “Africa’s annual imports amount to about $580 billion and our share of this figure is still small despite all the efforts. We have managed to export $1.2 billion to this market.”
He further mentioned the capacities of the mentioned continent for the export of technical and engineering services and said: “The total exports of technical and engineering services to Africa is currently $300 billion; But our share last year, despite a slight increase reached only $200 million, which is still small.”
According to the TPO head, in order to increase the level of trade with Africa certain infrastructure including transportation and direct shipping lines, as well as proper legal, commercial, monetary, and banking relations must be provided, and TPO has been recently focusing on providing such requirements to facilitate trade with Africa.
“To solve the transportation problems, four countries have been selected in East, West, South, and North of Africa, to launch air and shipping lines,” he said.
Earlier this week, the TPO deputy head for export markets development said his organization was looking for ways to implement barter trade mechanisms with African trade partners.
“Given the implementation of barter trade mechanism by Trade Promotion Organization with several countries, we hope to benefit from this platform with African trade partners as well,” Ahmad-Reza Alaei Tabatabaei said.
The official noted that the TPO has prepared a list of 1,100 commodity items that can be included in the barter trade with African countries.
Referring to the TPO plans to expand trade with Africa, Tabatabaei announced the improvement of export infrastructure and strengthening of the presence of Iranian commercial attachés in the said continent.
According to the official, the most important challenge for Iranian businessmen regarding Africa is the lack of knowledge and familiarity with its markets.
He further noted that another important challenge in the way of expanding trade with African countries is transportation and logistics, especially the need for developing maritime transportation infrastructure.
“Establishing regular shipping lines, which we have recently witnessed in East Africa and which needs to be strengthened, must also be implemented and regulated in West Africa. By allocating transportation subsidies, we try to regulate these lines; So that traders can benefit from this capacity,” Tabatabaei said.
Referring to Iran’s great potential in the field of technical and engineering services, he said: ” African countries are among the most important importers of technical and engineering services in the world, and fortunately, Iran has become more advanced in this area in recent years.”
The official also pointed to the 45 percent increase in exports to Africa, saying: “Currently, Ghana is Iran’s first export destination in Africa, followed by South Africa and Nigeria in second and third places.”