EghtesadOnline: A webinar on Iran-Italy tourism ties is scheduled to be held on Nov. 20, according to the secretary of Iran-Italy Chamber of Commerce’s Tourism Commission.
“Iran’s commercial attaché to Italy and his Italian counterpart as well as the European Union’s tourism officials will be attending the webinar,” Mohammad Shirkavand was also quoted as saying by ILNA.
According to Ahmad Pourfallah, the head of Iran-Italy Chamber of Commerce, Iran is among the top 10 countries in terms of tourism attractions.
“Iran’s Nature, historical sites, fruits and cuisine, holy shrines and health facilities are among its top attractions, yet we have not even been able to earn 1% of the overall global tourism revenues. The country’s full dependence on oil revenues and economic sanctions imposed on the country are to blame for this low performance, despite vast potentials,” he said.
Asked about the current situation of economic exchanges between Iran and Italy, Pourfallah said, “Italy has been [among] Iran’s top partner[s] in trade for many years, particularly after the Islamic Revolution. The duo recorded over $1.7 billion in trade about 10 years ago. Imports from Iran were enough to supply almost all the European country’s refineries’ feed.”
According to the latest statistics, which pertain to before the outbreak of the new coronavirus, annual trade between Iran and Italy has declined to $600-700 million. However, economic ties with Italy have not been totally hampered like those with many other countries; relations between their small- and medium-sized enterprises have been maintained.
Noting that Iran’s frozen assets in Italy stand at $4-5 billion, he said, “Our policymakers need to notice the fact that the hypothetical termination of the sanctions regime won’t be enough to improve Iran’s economic engagement with the world unless the country complies with the requirements of the Financial Action Task Force—the global anti-money laundering watchdog to reconnect its banks to SWIFT [the international interbank messaging network].”
Last February, FATF lifted the suspension of counter-measures against Iran and called on its members and all jurisdictions to apply effective counter-measures against the country.
At its October plenary session, the global anti-money laundering watchdog said Iran, along with North Korea, remains on FATF’s list of “high-risk jurisdictions”.
“For all countries identified as high-risk, the FATF calls on all members and urges all jurisdictions to apply enhanced due diligence, and in the most serious cases, countries are called upon to apply counter-measures to protect the international financial system,” the FATF statement said.