Iran, Czech Republic agree to expand economic cooperation

Tehran and the East European country are seeking to remove financial barriers, devise their own banking cooperation in a bid to develop their cooperation in various sectors, such as mining, energy and rail transport sectors.

20 May 2019
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Tehran and the East European country are seeking to remove financial barriers, devise their own banking cooperation in a bid to develop their cooperation in various sectors, such as mining, energy and rail transport sectors.

Czech Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Eduard Muřický, left, signs MoU with Industrial Development and Renovation Organization of Iran (IDRO) Executive Board Chairman Mohammad Baqer Ali in Tehran on Sunday, 19 May, 2019. IRNA

Iran and the Czech Republic on Sunday signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to expand economic cooperation in energy, automaking and rail transport sectors, Islamic Republic New Agency (IRNA) reports. 

The MoU was signed between Industrial Development and Renovation Organization of Iran (IDRO) and the Czech Ministry of Industry and Trade (MPO, in Czech) in Tehran. 

IDRO was represented by its Executive Board Chairman Mohammad Baqer Ali who signed the agreement with Czech Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Eduard Muřický. 

The MoU will pave the way for creation of a working group between the two countries to fast-track the agreement.  

The two officials agreed to use the maximum potential of both sides' government and private sectors in automaking, rail transport, new technologies as well as energy industries. 

The MoU also calls for launching of Iran-Czech Joint Ventures to boost industrial investment opportunities and renovate the industrial and manufacturing sectors, including Iran's shipbuilding sector.

IDRO's head of executive board, who is also deputy minister of industry, mine and trade, also urged that the two governments to facilitate effective communication between their Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs). 

Muřický had earlier said that Czech companies are willing to broaden cooperation in Iran's aluminum, power plant and food sectors.

In an interview with Iran Chamber Newsroom last week, the Czech official had also reiterated Prague's interest in cooperation with Iran's mining sector. 

Video: Czech deputy industry minister seeks mining cooperation with Iran 

 

Connecting Iranian-Czech SMEs

Also on Sunday, Tehran Chamber of Commerce, Industries, Mines and Agriculture President Masoud Khansari called for close cooperation between SMEs in Iran and Czech to help facilitate bilateral trade exchanges between the two countries.

Khansari told new Iranian Ambassador to the Czech Republic Akbar Aminian that his chamber has proposed a list of Iranian SMEs to the Czech officials.

Tehran Chamber of Commerce, Industries, Mines and Agriculture (TCCIMA) President Masoud Khansari, right, holds talks with Iran's new Ambassador to the Czech Republic Akbar Aminian in Tehran on Sunday, 19 May, 2019. Photo courtesy of TCCIMA

He said Tehran's chamber is seeking cooperation with Czech SMEs to explore avenues on how to further increase annual bilateral trade that stood at $89m in 2018. 

Khansari also called for barter trade between Iran and the Czech Republic or through a third country to help remove the existing financial obstacles that were created following the US withdrawal from Iran nuclear deal and the re-imposition of economic sanctions against Iran last year.

He underlined that money transfer problems between Iran and the European countries have left vital impact on their bilateral trade cooperation which started in 2016, a year after the deal was reached and ratified by the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) in Resolution 2231. At the time, a flurry of foreign business delegatiosn flocked to Iran to grab huge investment opportunities. 

The problems emerged after Donald Trump Administration's reintroduction of economic sanctions on Iran, stifling international financial transactions with the country. That's why many countries have started to plan their own Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) with Iran in a bid not to lose their investment projects. 

Czech-Slovak-Iranian Chamber of Commerce Chairman Jan Kavan, who was also among the Czech business delegation that visited Iran Chamber of Commerce, Industries, Mines and Agricutlure (ICCIMA), noted the banking problem, saying the two countries are planning to devise their own trade mechanism. 

Video: Czech-Slovak-Iranian Chamber of Commerce president talks about new trade mechanism with Iran 

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