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Can Turkey compete with France for Iranian market?

31 July 2015 10:51 (UTC+04:00)
Can Turkey compete with France for Iranian market?

By Rufiz Hafizoglu

The anticipated removal of sanctions on Iran opens up wide political and economic opportunities for that country’s authorities.

A number of European countries are already expressing great interest in Iran’s economy. One of them is France.

The visit of the French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius to Iran is indicative of the special attention attached by Paris to the development of relations with Tehran.

During his visit to Iran, Fabius had meetings with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani and the Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif.

He also met with the Iranian parliament’s chairman, Ali Larijani, the vice president and the head of the Environmental Protection Organization, Masoumeh Ebtekar, and the minister of industry, mine and trade, Mohammad Reza Nematzadeh and others.

France focuses mainly on the car industry of Iran. Earlier France’s Peugeot has said that it intends to create a joint venture with Iran to manufacture cars.

It is expected that 30 percent of the cars to be produced by that joint venture will be exported. Aside from that, another French car manufacturer Renault and Japan’s Suzuki have given their consent to return to the Iranian market.

But apart from France and other Western countries, Turkey, the nearest neighbor of Iran, is also rushing to enter the Iranian market.

Turkish companies well understand that the upcoming six-month period is very important in terms of entering the Iranian market.

The sanctions imposed on Iran were not of serious importance for Turkey, since over 100 Turkish companies were operating in this country during the sanction period. As many as 38 Turkish companies operate in Iran’s Aras free economic zone alone.

Benefits (simplified taxes) are offered to Turkish investor companies in Iran.

There are a number of attractive spheres for Turkish investors in Iran and tourism is among them. Turkey has seen a tourism boom since 1980s and the country achieved serious success in this sphere.

Meanwhile, such Iranian cities as Esfahan, Tabriz, and Shiraz have serious tourism potential. Moreover, the coasts of the Caspian Sea in Iran can attract Turkish investments for developing tourism.

Even if western tourism companies invest in this sphere in Iran, they won’t be able to compete with Turkish companies.

Along with the tourism sector of Iran, Turkey is interested in the mining sector, exploration of hydrocarbons, as well as the textile market.

Earlier, Seref Fayat, the Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Turkish Textile Association, told Trend that Iran is a huge sales market for Turkish textiles.

“Turkey has an advantage in the field of logistics and delivery of textile products to Iran compared to many countries,” he said.

Fayat said that currently, there are 20 brand Turkish textile companies on the Iranian market and their number can be easily increased up to 500 for three years.

Taking into account Turkey’s rich experience in the textile production, one can say that it will be difficult for any other companies to compete with Turkish firms on the Iranian market.

Thus, one can say that with the exception of the automotive industry, only France can compete with Turkey on the Iranian market.

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