Iran, Nicaragua keen on starting bilateral trade despite US sanctions

Although very far apart, Iran and Nicaragua are ready to expand their cooperation. Tehran and Manágua are getting closer day by day and are seeking barter trade to kickstart their bilateral trade exchanges.

14 August 2019
ID : 22164
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Although very far apart, Iran and Nicaragua are ready to expand their cooperation. Tehran and Manágua are getting closer day by day and are seeking barter trade to kickstart their bilateral trade exchanges.

Nicaraguas Minister of Treasury and Public Credit Iván Adolfo Acosta Montalván, fourth from right, stands next to Gholam Hossein Shafei, ICCIMA President at the end of a meeting in Tehran on Tuesday. IRAN CHAMBER NEWSROOM/Bahareh Taqi Abadi

Nicaragua is ready to broaden barter trade with Iran ignoring US sanctions which has complicated banking affairs and financial transactions, visiting Nicaragua’s Treasury and Public Credit Minister Iván Adolfo Acosta Montalván said on Tuesday.

“There are opportunities to produce red meat in Nicaragua. Iranian companies can even invest in this sector, produce meat based on halal principles and export it to other countries as well,” said Nicaragua’s Treasury and Public Credit Minister.

He made the remarks in a meeting with Iran Chamber of Commerce, Industries, Mines and Agriculture (ICCIMA) authorities in Tehran early Tuesday.

Earlier, ICCIMA President Gholam Hossein Shafei proposed that Tehran and Manágua engage in barter trade through export of red meat from Nicaragua in exchange for Iranian chemical fertilizer for agricultural purpose.

Barter trade is the key to success of Iranian private sector under sanctions, Shafei said.

Iran can also help the Central American nation to build infrastructure as “Iranian companies have good experience in realising big construction projects outside Iran”, according to speaker of Iran's private sector.

Shafei also proposed that Nicaragua to ease issuance of visas for Iranian businesses to further facilitate trade between the two countries.

Iran and Nicaragua, with close political views in terms of the US hegemony in the world, have already cooperated in various sectors.

Acosta, who is on an official visit to Iran, heading a political and business delegation said he would make every effort to restore trade ties between the two countries.

“We have signed a comprehensive agreement with the Iranian government in order to start a new era of economic relations,” the Nicaraguan minister added.

Acosta highlighted that Iranian businesses can access a 1.5 bn potential market in 45 countries through trade with Nicaragua, that has signed agreements with these many countries.

$10m Pharmaceutical deal

The Nicaraguan delegation also signed an agreement with Iran to import medicine in exchange for food products.

"We are prepared to cooperate with Nicaragua in medicine export and share expertise in pharma production and control. There are good capacities in Nicaragua and they can help us in return," said Iran Food and Drug Administration President Hamid Reza Shanehsaz on Tuesday.

He made the remarks in a meeting with Nicaragau’s Treasury and Public Credit Minister Iván Adolfo Acosta Montalván, who is leading a political and business delegation on an official visit to Iran.

Shanehsaz reiterated that Iran produces over a million cosmetics and other beauty-related products, making it almost independent in production of such products.

Acosta Montalván noted that Manágua is ready to facilitate such bilateral cooperation ditching dollar. “In return for medicine, we can give you food products,” he said.

Nicaragua is set to import pharmaceuticals from Iran for a “pilot period” of six months, said Francisco López Centeno, Nicaraguan president’s Advisor for Production and Commerce.

“In the first phase, we will import medicine from Iran worth $10m in return for export of food from Nicaragua,” he added, without specifying what kind of foodstuff will Iran buy from the Central American country.

López Centeno stressed that the imported medicine from Iran won’t be registered in the first phase, noting that such cooperation can lay the groundwork for the creation of a joint Iranian-Nicaraguan pharmaceutical company in the country to meet both domestic demand and export to other Latin American nations.

“Medicine in Central America is very expensive. Even if there is enough money, we can’t buy enough medicine because with each endemic diseases, we face difficulties in providing them,” according to the Nicaraguan official.

“Iranian-made medicine is both high in quality and competitiveness in terms of price. We have daily requests from regional countries to buy pharmaceuticals from us,” said Gholam Hossein Mehr Alian, Director General of Drug Issues and Materials under the Control of IFDA.

"Currently, we are actively producing medicine for chronic and non-contagious diseases such as heart, veins, blood pressure and kidney. We have made good progress in making anti-cancer drugs. We give commitment and guarantee to export high quality drugs with good prices to Nicaragua and other LatAm countries," he added.


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