EU post-JCPOA business with Iran clear message to Trump
Chairman of the Agriculture, Water and Food Industries Commission in Tehran Chamber of Commerce Kaveh Zargaran in a piece originally published by the Persian-language daily 'Iran' on Sunday, stressed that the timing of the visit by the big European delegation is important as it is taking place amid rising anti-Iran rhetoric by the US President Donald Trump and his hostile approach towards the Iran Nuclear deal, known also as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of action (JCPOA).
After the implementation of the July 2015 nuclear agreement between Tehran and P5+1 group of nations, many large EU business delegations lined up to explore ways to further enhance their cooperation with Iran and as Phil Hogan, the EU Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development and head of the EU delegation said, to compensate for the loss caused by the sanctions against Iran and lack of bilateral trade ties.
Now Hogan and his team are in the Iranian capital despite all the pessimism expressed even by some parties inside the country that the European businessmen are after monopolizing the Iranian market and that engagement with them is not expected to prepare the way for joint investments and productions in the future.
Now, however, the European companies have come to realize that despite all the negative propaganda, Iran has high potentials to increasingly attract foreign investments.
On the other hand, as a result of decades of Western-imposed sanctions against Iran, many foreign entities, due to their lack of knowledge, were of the view that the risks of doing business with Iran were high.
Yet, presently, they are eager to engage with Iran, relying on the information and figures provided by the Iranian Chamber of Commerce and private sector in the country.
The visit by the EU economic delegation produced yet another outcome: It conveyed a message to the Trump administration that the European Union is committed to the JCPOA and that despite attempts by the US president to undermine the Iran Deal, the Union is not going to be influenced by the US decisions.
The removal of sanctions has opened the way for development of Iran's economic and trade relations with other nations.
Frequent visits by the European companies to Iran after the implementation of the JCPOA revealed that they now understand doing business with the country is to their benefit and that the global trade is not overshadowed by the political issues.
But, in order for Iran and Europe to use this opportunity in the best way, both sides need to facilitate investments and business activities. Too, they should take into account addressing financial and banking issues to give momentum to the bilateral business.
Furthermore, regarding Iran's agricultural products and the country's regional geopolitical position as well as the safe business environment it enjoys, countries in the European Union are encouraged to invest on Iran's agriculture and food sectors.
Now it is the time for the Iranian companies to set long-term goals and enter joint ventures with the European countries to secure access to foreign markets as well.
Iran should not miss the opportunity.
Written by: Kaveh Zargaran
Translated by: Reza Bahar