EghtesaadOnline: European countries, other than the founders of INSTEX, namely France, Germany and the UK, are willing to join the special purpose vehicle that facilitates trade with Iran, the economic and commercial counselor of Belgian Embassy in Iran said.
Christoph Smitz made the announcement in a meeting with Mohammad Reza Karbasi, the head of Iran Chamber of Commerce, Industries, Mines and Agriculture’s International Affairs Department on Monday.
“European small- and medium-sized businesses are waiting for the implementation of INSTEX and for the elaboration of its mechanism. Belgian companies are eager to maintain interactions with their Iranian counterparts. At present, a part of Belgium's trade with Iran is carried out though third-party countries. Yet, we intend to find ways to maintain and expand our bilateral economic ties,” Smitz was quoted as saying by ICCIMA’s news portal.
Karbasian said that the two countries have ample capacity to increase collaborations in the fields of energy, automotives, food production, pharmaceuticals, petrochemicals and SMEs, Financial Tribune reported.
“Belgium can help increase Iran’s non-oil exports to the European Union. We can also plan to engage in economic cooperation in third-party countries,” he added.
Tehran-Brussels trade stood at €564.85 million in 2018 to register a 22.5% decrease compared with the year before.
Iran exported €129.31 million worth of commodities to Belgium and imported more than €435.53 million in return, indicating a 1.8% and 27.1% decline respectively YOY.