Indian trade forum Assocham to open an office in Iran

assochamThe Associated Chamber of Commerce and Industry of India (ASSOCHAM), India’s third biggest industry forum, today announced it will consider opening office in Teheran, immediately after global trade with Iran becomes normal following lifting of international sanctions.

Yesterday, Western powers and Iran announced an agreement to move towards normalization of trade and diplomatic relationships. Till yesterday, Iran was under sanctions from Western governments for suspected involvement in creating new weapons of mass destruction.

India has had strong ties with the Shi’ite country, both historically and recently. India sources a large part of its petroleum requirement from Iran, despite having to incur the displeasure of its Western partners.

“The entire West Asia is crucial for India’s global engagement in trade and investment. With merchandise trade itself aggregating USD 171 billion (2014-15), the region will grow in its economic and strategic importance once the geo-political situation improves following building of normal ties between the most influential western powers and Iran,” said D S Rawat, Secretary General ASOSCHAM.

Because of the sanctions by the United Nations (UN), Europe and the US, the trade channels with Iran were limited resulting in restricted trade. India’s exports to Iran totalled USD 4.17 billion and imports at USD 8.9 billion in 2014-15 whereas with other comparative big powers like UAE, Saudi Arabia the engagements were many times over, said ASSOCHAM.

“Despite these restrictions, ASSOCHAM has remained engaged with Iran, given its economic potential. We had fielded a couple of delegations as well to Teheran….” said Mr Rawat.

He said the chamber has already established a strong presence in other West Asian countries and would be eagerly awaiting to expand India’s trade and investment ties with Iran.