EghtesadOnline: A delegation from Trade and Investment South Africa paid a visit to Tehran Chamber of Commerce, Industries, Mines and Agriculture last week to meet with private sector economic players and assess South Africa’s trade relationship with Iran.
According to the South African government’s Department of Trade and Industry, TISA aims to increase export capacity and support direct investment flows by implementing strategies directed at targeted markets and manage DTI’s network of foreign trade offices.
The Wednesday meeting was held two days after the introduction of new US sanctions on Iran, TCCIM’s News Portal reported.
The United States unilaterally quit the nuclear deal between Iran and six world powers signed in 2015, which relieved sanctions on Iran in exchange for the country to scale back the scope of its nuclear energy program, according to Financial Tribune.
“The sanctions are not a new issue for Iran. This time they are unilateral and only imposed by the United States. Therefore, the EU and other countries are not behind it; this is a positive point. Certainly, we can find ways to develop relations despite sanctions,” said Yunus Hussain, the head of South African Investment Promotion Agency.
Advantages of Investment in Iran
Mohammad Reza Bakhtiari, the deputy head of TCCIM on international affairs, pointed to two entities at the chamber, which have been founded with the aim of attracting foreign investments.
The Center of Investment and Consultancy Services seeks to identify economic sectors with the biggest competitive advantages and promote partnerships between Iranian companies and their international counterparts. It also provides a platform for networking, cooperation, sharing and dissemination of ideas and information between Iranian constituents and potential investors through seminars, B2B meetings and organization of trade missions.
According to its website http://cic.tccim.ir, the center provides information and guidance to potential investors, acting as a facilitator and coordinator for investors as well as a consultant on issues ranging from company and business law, foreign investment regulations, tax and social security.
The Arbitration Center of Tehran Chamber of Commerce, Industries, Mines and Agriculture, established in May 2017, helps settle disputes involving Iranian economic players, merchants and entrepreneurs with their Iranian or foreign partners, reduce contract risks and economic interaction expenses, and create safer and more amiable atmosphere for attracting foreign investments.
“Iran is one of the largest economies in the Middle East, and investment in a country that has a population of about 80 million certainly has its benefits. At the same time, Iran’s strategic position, its access to the large regional market, young workforce, developed infrastructure and vast natural resources are among the other advantages of investments in Iran,” said Feryal Mostofi, the head of the Center of Investment and Consultancy Services.
She added that the government and parliament in Iran guarantee the security of foreign investments.
Maryam Faraji, the head of the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Finance’s Investment Promotion Office, said more than 500 investment opportunities in Iran have been identified and will be introduced to investors soon.
Investment Opportunities in South Africa
Yunus Hussain introduced investment opportunities in his country in the course of the meeting and said South Africa has achieved political and economic stability in recent years and needs more advanced technology.
Consequently, it is trying to invite foreign investors to put their money in its businesses. “We do not tax investors in South Africa. We guarantee investment security and provide investors with the information they need,” he said, stating that due to the long history of South Africa in the field of mining, the two sides could initiate joint ventures in the field.
Hussain stressed that mutual cooperation could also extend to the green economy, renewable energy, recycling, nanotechnology, medicine and biochemistry.