The Slovenia Times

Economy minister to make trade-boosting visit to Iran


The business representatives will be accompanying the minister at meetings at several Iranian government departments, the Slovenian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GZS) said in announcing the visit on Friday.

The proceedings will get under way on Sunday with talks at the ministries of energy, of communication and information technology and of petroleum.

The next day, the minister and his entourage will be hosted by the ministries of roads, of economic affairs and of agriculture and the Cultural Heritage Handicrafts and Tourism Organisation.

Monday will also see a bilateral business conference with head-to-head meetings between Iranian and Slovenian business officials.

The companies Duol (air domes manufacturer), Riko (civil engineering), Iskratel and Comita (both telecommunications) will inaugurate their office, and Gorenje will open a showroom of household appliances.

As a market of 80 million, Iran is a key export market for Slovenian business in that part of the world, especially now that international sanctions against the country are being lifted, GZS says.

Duol general manager Dušan Olaj has pinpointed huge demand for foreign goods and technologies in the wake of economic sanctions as the main advantage. "The market is hungry of everything."

"We see an exceptional opportunity in being able to meet their needs with our domes and greenhouses in a very short period of time and cost efficiently - at least a tiny part of their needs," Olaj has recently told the STA.

Following the announcement of a deal on the country's nuclear programme in July, several European ministers rushed to Iran accompanied by business delegations.

However, Slovenia has not missed anything, Aleš Cantarutti, a state secretary at the Ministry of Economic Development and Technology, has recently assured the STA in an interview.

He recalled a GZS delegation visiting the country in 2012, after which an Iranian delegation visited Slovenia a year later, while in 2014 the then parliamentary Speaker Janko Veber visited Tehran.

The seniority of the official visiting the country from the west was high for the time. "They didn't forget it, regardless of the throng of greats there now," Cantarutti said.

The volume of bilateral goods trade has never topped EUR 100m after 2002, falling to EUR 22m in 2014 from the peak EUR 96.6m in 2011. But business with Iran has never been interrupted.

Cantarutti sees potential for boosting trade in construction and engineering, communication and information technologies, energy, automotive, agriculture, metal processing industry and logistics.

"Iran has during these years developed its industry in various fields, which is comparatively inefficient though," he said, adding that cooperation would help increase the efficiency.

The Foreign Ministry has also identified pharmaceutical and paper industries and mining as further sectors with potential to increase trade with Iran.

Running until Tuesday, the visit to Tehran has been organised by the GZS, Ministry of Economic Development and Technology, Foreign Ministry and SPIRIT agency for promotion of entrepreneurship and foreign investment.


More from Nekategorizirano