European states want to join INSTEX: Belgian official

Belgium is one of those European countries that has expressed interest in using the recently-created financial channel to do business with Iran.

18 March 2019
ID : 11894
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Belgium is one of those European countries that has expressed interest in using the recently-created financial channel to do business with Iran.

Christophe Smitz, Economic and Commercial Councilor at the Belgian Embassy in Iran, left, talks with Mohammad Reza Karbasi, Deputy for International Affairs at ICCIMA. (Photo: Iran Chamber Newsroom)

European countries are keen on joining the special payment channel called INSTEX to do business with Iran, a senior Belgian commercial official says.

“There are still many risks in doing business with Iran. However, apart from the UK, France and Germany that have created the INSTEX, other European countries also want to join this financial mechanism,” Christophe Smitz, Commercial Attaché for Belgium's French-speaking Wallonia region at the Belgian Embassy in Iran told Mohammad Reza Karbasi, Deputy for International Affairs at Iran Chamber of Commerce, Industries, Mines and Agriculture (ICCIMA) on Sunday.

He said European Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises (SMEs) are waiting to see how INSTEX works.

“Currently, part of Belgium’s trade with Iran is carried out through third countries. However, we are looking for good solutions to keep and develop bilateral economic relations with Iran,” noted the official, who served previously as Investments Project Manager at Wallonia Foreign Trade and Investment Agency (AWEX).

He stressed that his country is looking to develop economic ties with various provinces of Iran.

INSTEX was created by Germany, France and the UK on the last day of January. That mechanism, the Instrument in Support of Trade Exchanges, is registered in France and reports to a supervisory board of diplomats from the three countries.

There are talks about how the channel should work and can help keep Iran-Europe trade.

Karbasi also told the Belgian official that more information and details are needed on INSTEX so “win-win trade between Iran and Europe takes place”.

He also said that Iran should export more of its non-oil goods to Europe.

ICCIMA deputy for international affairs also called on Belgium to make most of Iran’s strategic position to export to third countries in the region.

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