Iran beckons Indian firms
Our Regional Bureau in Ahmedabad
Published : August 27, 2003
Iran wants to make use of the Indian textile industrys expertise in the machinery used in the textile business, Islamic Republic of Iran Consul General Mehdi Honardoost said on Tuesday.
Pharmaceutical, textile, food processing, information technology and infrastructure industries offer a huge potential for Indian companies to form joint ventures in Iran, he said at an interactive session with industrialists of Gujarat, here.
India and Iran enjoy excellent political, cultural and bilateral relations and there is a vast scope for increasing trade between the two countries, he said.
The total bilateral trade between the two countries has witnessed a decline over the past five years, though exports from India to Iran have registered a rise.
In 2001-02, the volume of total bilateral trade between the two countries stood at $536.86 million compared with $804.67 million in 1997-98.
While Indias exports to Iran grew from $171.6 million in 1997-98 to $253.03 million in 2001-02, imports from Iran fell from $633.01 million in 1997-98 to $283.82 million in 2001-02.
Honardoost said with the setting up of free trade zones in Iran over the past three years and with the India-Iran-CIS trade corridor taking shape rapidly, the climate for investing in Iran has become very conducive.
Drugs, petrochemicals, textiles, garments, information technology and chemicals are some areas where joint ventures could be fruitful for both the partners, he said. Honardoost said lack of proper information for Indian entrepreneurs is perhaps the biggest hurdle for those availing business opportunities in Iran.
There is a whole new world of opportunity emerging with the new trade corridor being set up between India, Iran and CIS. And with the setting up of free trade zones, the foreign direct investment is increasing 70 per cent every year, he said.
The consul general said Iran is the second biggest producer of oil and gas in the region and a number of western companies are showing interest in this field.
The session was organised by the CII, which has been acting as a facilitator for trade between the two countries by organising delegations and meetings.
There is a tremendous scope for industrialists from Gujarat to explore joint ventures with Iranian companies, CII western region deputy chairman Gaurav Nanavaty said.
At the session, several businessmen from Gujarat showed keen interest in exploring business opportunities in Iran.
S K Sharma, who runs a medium-scale pharmaceutical unit in Gujarat, sought to know the possibilities of setting up joint ventures with Iranian pharmaceutical units.
Nayan Parikh of Ahmedabad-based Nayan Parikh Consultants sought to know what opportunities were open for consultancy firms in Iran.
On a question about the infrastructure development in Iran, Honardoost said while most of the ports in Iran are in the south, the markets are in the northern and eastern parts of the country.
A Larsen and Toubro official wanted to know if financing was available for Asian companies, as western companies held an edge in this regard. He was informed that financing will not be a problem for any company. http://www.business-standard.com/today/story.asp?Menu=23&story=21642
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