‘Italy still eager for trade with Iran’

TEHRAN - Chairman of Iran-Italy Joint Chamber of Commerce Ahmad Pourfallah has said that despite the U.S. sanctions Italian companies are still willing to engage in trade with Iran, IRNA reported on Sunday.

According to Pourfallah, despite the U.S. pressures, small and medium-sized Italian enterprises have not cut their ties with Iran and Italy still holds the first place among Iran’s European trade partners.

“In the post-sanctions era when the sanctions were removed from Iran’s economy, over 1000 business firms and more than 300 companies from Italy came to Iran,” Pourfallah stated.

He noted that Italian companies are still looking to find ways to continue their economic ties with Iran, adding that every month four or five Italian companies visit Iran to hold trade talks.

“The two sides had on the agenda to boost their mutual trade to $13 billion,” Pourfallah said.

Mentioning the negative impact of the U.S. sanctions in the trade turnover between the two countries, the official noted that in recent years, Iran's exports to Italy were around seven billion euros, but the sanctions reduced the figure to less than €1.8 billion.

“However, in 2018 the trade turnover between the two sides stood at €5 billion,” he added.

In early June, head of Iran Chamber of Commerce, Industries, Mines and Agriculture (ICCIMA) said Italy is one of the major trade partners of Iran in the European Union and expansion of trade ties with the country is a priority for Iran.

Gholam-Hossein Shafeie made the remarks in a meeting with Italian Ambassador to Iran at the time, Mauro Conciatori.

Conciatori for his part emphasized that the cooperation between Iran and Italy will be maintained at all levels.

Mentioning the growth of trade turnover between Iran and Italy in recent years and the interest of Italian businessmen and entrepreneurs in investing in Iran, Conciatori stressed, "We should not worry about the future of Iran-Italy economic relations."

“Despite U.S. sanctions, the two countries trade turnover is currently more than 4 billion euros” Conciatori said.

“We are currently in the process of "contemplating" to plan better future relations, and I'm sure we will have a bigger jump forward after this era”, he added.