Iran starts restoration of economic ties with West

By Sara Rajabova

The recent P5+1-Iran nuclear deal have triggered the restoration of the economic and trade relations between the West and the Islamic Republic.

The western countries and companies have started negotiations with Tehran to return the Iranian market.

Right after inking the nuclear deal, Iran and the European Union announced holding an international conference in Vienna on July 23-24 to discuss post-sanction opportunities for cooperation.

The “Iran-EU conference on trade and investment” will bring together officials from Iran, Austria, France, the UK, Germany and other countries as well as their traders and entrepreneurs.

Minister of Industry, Trade and Mine Mohammad Reza Nematzadeh will lead the Iranian delegation, including representatives of economic, financial, banking and foreign investment sectors as well as executives from oil, gas, petrochemicals, mining, automotive and other industries.

The forum create opportunities for businesses, investors and entrepreneurs analyze and explore opportunities the vast Iranian market, in the meantime providing a chance for Iran to get access to the European market.

The conference is being held in cooperation with the Austrian Federal Economic Chamber and Iran’s Trade Promotion Organization and joint chambers of commerce of Iran, France, Germany and Britain.

Italy intends in the coming weeks to resume trade and economic relations with Iran, Italian Foreign Minister Paolo Gentiloni said.

Representatives of the leading oil and gas group Italy’s Eni pointed out on July 14 that in the case of the lifting of sanctions, the company is ready to return to Iran with new investments.

Meanwhile, German companies have been exploring opportunities in Iran for months amid expectations that the sanctions would be lifted.

Germany sees a big rise in trade with Iran, preparing the first high-profile foreign delegation for visit to Tehran this week.

Economy Minister Sigmar Gabriel is reported to arrive at the head of a large political and trade delegation on July 19 for a two-day visit.

The 60-strong delegation will include representatives of big German industrial companies such as Linde and Siemens, Amir-Hossein Zamaninia, Pres TV reported.

The U.S. companies are also interested in entering the Iranian market. American media reported that U.S. corporations such as Boeing and General Electric and tech giant Apple are studying potential entry into the Iranian market or expansion of their existing operations.

The Wall Street Journal said Apple is in talks for distribution of its top-of-the-line iPhones, iPads and other gadgets in Iran.

Citing people familiar with the matter, the paper said Apple was weighing deals with resellers and local distributors since it didn't seek direct entry which would require opening “a line of brick and mortar Apple Stores in Iran”.

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Sara Rajabova is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow her on Twitter: @SaraRajabova

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