EghtesadOnline: French Ambassador to Tehran, Muriel Penicaud, said on Wednesday that 300 French companies are now in Iran and more than 2,000 more are to join them to have business in Iran.
Addressing a press conference in Tehran, Penicaud, who is also managing director of Business France, said Business France has thus far encouraged 300 companies to join Iranian market and is in efforts to make more 2,000 such enterprises interested in the market as they are busy planning to be active there.
According to IRNA, she said the companies are mostly small- and medium-sized, being active in repair and maintenance of equipment and machinery, mines, plastic industries, foodstuff and agricultural products.
She added that such big success is gained due to attention to market needs, win-win view to trade and conclusion of long-term contracts.
The diplomat said it will take two to three years to prepare necessary grounds for entry into Iranian market.
“France was among the few countries not waiting lifting of nuclear sanctions to enter Iranian market; since September 2015, Business France office opened in Tehran with three objectives of preparing a balance sheet of resumption of bilateral ties, elimination of barriers to access to Iranian market and joint work for normalization of financial relations between the two countries.”
France is present in market of 73 countries and is highly happy to be in Iranian market of 80 million following conclusion of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), said the envoy, adding that such a presence will be long-term.
She added that expansion of bilateral ties, helping commissioning of upcoming development and investment projects, R&D, and generation of value-added are also on agenda of Business France.
Elsewhere in her remarks, she said 40 European banks are now active in Iran, two of them French ones.
Business France will do its best to prepare necessary grounds for entry of major banks and companies into Iranian market but it will be a very complicated and time intensive project, she added.
Furthermore, since January 2017, all transactions with Iran are covered by French insurance companies.
Penicaud said volume of French investment in Iran and trade are growing and by end of 2015, volume of French investment in Iran was 340 million euros which has now increased.
Asked to specify amount of French investment in Iran, Penicaud said, “There is no precise figure available but our goal is increasing volume of investment to the level of 1.4 billion euros, which was the 2002 record.”
She said volume of trade with Iran stood at 2.1 billion euros in 2016, showing 235 percent increase.
She added that French exported such items as sanitary, pharmaceutical, chemical, and cosmetic products as well as auto and plane equipment and parts to Iran while the latter mainly exported oil to the former.
France also welcomed Iranian investors and helps them access French market of 65 million as well as the market of 500 million in Europe and Africa, she added.
“For the time being, 20,000 foreign companies are active in France, 20 of them Iranian,” she added.