Iran private sector eyes $3b in annual trade with Syria

Iran’s private sector businesses can export foodstuffs and construction materials to Syria as well as offer technical services in rebuilding the war-torn country, Iran Chamber of Commerce president says.

29 January 2019
ID : 11802
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 Iran’s private sector businesses can export foodstuffs and construction materials to Syria as well as offer technical services in rebuilding the war-torn country, Iran Chamber of Commerce president says.

“In the past, Small and Medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) have been actively cooperating with Syrian firms, including in exporting Iranian foodstuffs,” Gholam Hossein Shafei, President of Iran Chamber of Commerce, Industries, Mines an Agriculture (ICCIMA) told reporters on board a plane carrying Iran’s first Vice President, Eshaq Jahangiri, a number of cabinet ministers as well as a business delegation from Iran private sector to Syria.

“For some reasons, this cooperation has been stopped but now there’s a good opportunity to resume such trade,” added Shafei, who also mentioned that under previously-agreed Iran-Syria free trade agreement, signed before the war broke out, Iran exported a wide range of commodities to the Arab country.

Head of Iran’s private sector entity highlighted “vast capabilities” of the Iranian construction firms saying “we can also cooperate in rebuilding Syrian infrastructure.”

Shafei, who is heading the Iranian delegations, made up of more than a dozen business owners, stressed that “Iran has considerable capability in using cutting-edge technology and machinery and we can be useful as Syria is now looking to rebuild.

“Exporting Iranian construction materials to Syria can give the country’s industry a boost,” according to Iran Chamber of Commerce president.

 

Iran-Syria Joint Chamber of Commerce

Shafei emphasized that Syria’s private sector is expected to announce its own members in a joint Iran-Syrian economic committee that’s been established at the Iran Chamber of Commerce.

“This joint economic committee will lay the groundwork for a future joint chamber of commerce between the two countries which will help pave the way for the expansion of bilateral economic ties,” he said.

Joint chambers of commerce are the operational arm of economic activities in other countries.

President of Iran Chamber of Commerce also stressed that Iran will occupy a special place among other competitors should financial and banking problems as well as direct transit of goods between Iran and Syria are also resolved.

He emphasized that Iranian goods must be transited through the Iraqi territory and that Iran-Baghdad and Damascus need to establish a trilateral transit company to facilitate trade.

“If all these problems are resolved, we can hit a trade volume of 3 billion dollars during the first year of the new era of mutual cooperation. 

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