Business France eyes bolstering ties with Iran private sector

In a meeting with Iran Chamber of Commerce president, French ambassador to Tehran and Business French CEO said France is looking for opportunities to boost relations with Iran private sector.

13 March 2017
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In a meeting with Iran Chamber of Commerce president, French ambassador to Tehran and Business French CEO said France is looking for opportunities to boost relations with Iran private sector.

Iran Chamber of Commerce president says France’s experience could prove helpful in Iran’s plan to develop urban and suburban rail routes.

Iran Chamber of Commerce, Industries, Mines and Agriculture (ICCIMA) President Gholamhossein Shafei made the remarks during a meeting in Tehran with the French Ambassador to Iran François Sénémaud and CEO of Business France Muriel Pénicaud.

He pointed to age-old relations between Iran and France saying “following sanctions removal, French delegations were among the first to visit Iran to reinvigorate bilateral ties.”

Shafei deemed the visit by France’s MEDEF to Iran as a proper venue for boosting economic relations adding that “five MoUs were signed during the recent visit of France’s Economy Minister to Tehran and that Iran Chamber is after their immediate implementation.”

Shafei said as part of the National Development Plan, Iran is seeking to develop urban and suburban rail lines asserting “experience of France in this regard could increase common venues of cooperation.”

“Given Iran’s great potentials in various arenas, Tehran and Paris could join hands in projects like LNG, oil, gas and petrochemicals, renewable energies, tourism, chemical industries as well as information technology,” Iran Chamber president said.

France determined to boost ties with Iran

The French ambassador to Tehran appreciated holding of a meeting between Iranian and French foreign minister in ICCIMA saying “France is seeking to pursue and implement the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) in all fields.”

“Visits of French ministers to Iran are indications of the European country’s determination in deepening ties with Iran,” said François Sénémaud.

He mentioned facilitation of monetary and banking relations as well as visa issuance in the meeting of foreign ministers saying “we are holding serious talks with the US regarding banking relations though the process might prove time-consuming since Americans have imposed certain restrictions against banking collaborations with Iran.”

The French ambassador also talked about the construction of Tehran’s monorail in joint partnership with Alstom company underlining “numerous French firms will be able to finance Iranian projects in case monetary issues are resolved.”

Sénémaud said 40,000 visas had been issued for Iranian during 2016 adding “facilitation of commute has been emphasized in the JCPOA according to which the figure is scheduled to become twofold in 2017.

Later into the meeting, Business France CEO Muriel Pénicaud said meeting with ICCIMA president at the opening of her visit to Tehran was a sign of France’s interest in developing relations with the private sector of Iran reiterating “Tehran and Paris hold several cultural, philosophical, historical and artistic commonalities which bring about closer ties between businessmen of both sides.”

She said Business France was responsible for exports of French goods, attraction of foreign investment and globalization of the French economy adding “we opened a major trade office in Tehran last year in a bid to facilitate commercial activities between the two countries and 242 firms have begun working with Iranian counterparts since then.”

The official said the main bottleneck to relations was lack of a financing solution adding “France’s Coface insurance company became available in Iran as of January though only a few small banks have launched cooperation with Iran.”

“A total of 20,000 foreign firms are active in France with only 20 of them being Iranian,” stressed the official noting that France was the export gate for deploying goods to Europe and Africa.

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