EghtesadOnline: Tejarat Bank, a major Iranian lender, is to open a branch in Norway as banking ties with the Scandinavian country gathers pace, announced the Second Secretary for Economic Affairs with the Royal Norwegian Embassy in Tehran in a meeting with the international affairs deputy of Iran Chamber of Commerce, Industries, Mines and Agriculture.
"I can announce the good news that banking ties will be established between a number of Norwegian and Iranian banks soon, including Tejarat Bank which is to open a Norway branch in the foreseeable future," Martin Eide was quoted as saying by the official news website of the ICCIMA.
Regarding banking ties, he added in his meeting with Mohammad Reza Karbasi, "we have reached several agreements which will be implemented soon".
Karbasi pointed to the economic structure of both countries which are similar since oil, gas and petrochemical products from the majority of their exports and major parts of their sectors are state-run. This, he said, would help the countries to expand their collaborations, Financial Tribune reported.
The official also referred to the trade deals of Iran and Norway, saying even though the volume has increased during the past year, it is still very low and a focus must be put on taking it higher.
"We are very optimistic about the future of Iran's economy and Iranian businessmen are highly enthusiastic about working with Norwegian companies," Karbasi said, adding that the main focus is on increasing ties in energy, fisheries, renewable energies, mining and shipbuilding industries.
The ICCIMA member expressed hope that with removing banking hurdles and developing suitable financial instruments, Iranian and Norwegian companies will be able to take their cooperation to the next level and their private sectors would also be able to expand their ties.
According to him, the Iran Chamber is after forming a joint Iran-Norway chamber of commerce. In tandem with overcoming banking problems, he added, forming a joint chamber will clear the way for expanding economic ties.
Karbasi officially invited Norwegian companies to engage in joint investments in Iran, adding that in line with this, "we will collect various projects from across the country and introduce them to the Norwegian embassy and other foreign embassies".
He added that the ICCMIA is ready to welcome trade, economic and official delegations from Norway and hold economic forums for them. It is also ready to send trade delegations of its own to the Scandinavian nation.
Optimism in Relations
Eide responded positively by saying the Norwegian side is very willing to engage in joint investment ventures, saying they are ready to receive the list from the Iranian side and explore the possibilities.
Facilitation of issuing visas for Iranian traders was also one of the subjects emphasized on by the ICCMA international affairs deputy who said it will create the grounds for the progress of trade ties between the two countries.
Furthermore, he brought up the notion of forming a joint Iran-Norway economic commission.
The official with the Norwegian embassy in Tehran reassured that "we are currently trying to ease the process of issuing visas for traders and the waiting period as much as possible" and headway has been made.
For example, he said, if there are no problems with the documents, the Schengen visa for traders will be issued more easily and at a shorter period compared with the past.