EghtesadOnline: A one-day conference was held in the Irish capital Dublin on July 6 to survey Iran's post-sanctions investment opportunities.
The event, organized by the Irish Republic's state-owned Enterprise Ireland, covered several topics, including oil, gas, petrochemical, automotive, ICT and startups.
The aim of the "Doing Business with Iran" event, according to the official literature of the organizers, was to give EI clients an overview of the opportunities in Iran, as well as to provide practical information regarding the mechanics of exporting to Iran and to focus on sectors that are most attractive for Irish exports.
Iranian ambassador to Ireland, Javad Kachoueian, addressed Irish entrepreneurs and investors promoting the country's recently unsanctioned industries, including the reemerging oil and gas sector, Financial Tribune reported.
The ambassador noted that he hoped the Irish government would reassess its position on the shuttered diplomatic compound in Tehran to the benefit of both countries.
Other speakers at the event, held at Enterprise Ireland's headquarters at East Point, highlighted several current issues afflicting EU trade with the Islamic Republic.
> Banking Hurdles
Shay King, director of Eurozone Group, headquartered in Tehran, discussed current hurdles regarding remittances and payments for companies working with Iranian joint venture partners, saying that Irish banks in recent years have been cool on doing transactions with Iranian citizens.
The foreign-based entrepreneur said financial solutions are now available as a medium-term workaround to the ongoing restrictions, but cautioned the use of independent bureaux de change could be problematic when transferring large sums.
Another speaker at the event, Dublin-based Sadegh Panahi of Eblana Group and previous founder of Iclothing.com, discussed the potentials of Iran's young population and their quick adoption of Internet technology to create new e-commerce stores.
During his speech, the young entrepreneur said how sales from his Irish firm to Iran have accelerated since the introduction of payment gateways enabled faster transactions between online stores and consumers.
Speaking with Financial Tribune on the sidelines of the event, Panahi said, "There are still risks which can be handled with open eyes, just like all emerging markets with their unique business ecosystem."
Irish business owners at the event said they were optimistic about the Iranian economy in the next few years, with several companies speaking about having long-term plans to enter the Iranian economy.
Others were more eager to move quickly, noting their government's slowness in responding to the country's business leaders, throttling Irish business opportunities in the Islamic Republic.