Although Portugal was the 75th destination of Iranian exported products, businessmen from this European country have traveled to Iran to expand business relations between the two countries as the creation of INSTEX has seemingly breathed new air into Iran’s trade with Europe.
Iranian and Portuguese small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to expand business ties and use the European special payment channel called Instrument in Support of Trade Exchange (INSTEX).
The document was signed during a ceremony at Tehran Chamber of Commerce, Industries, Mines and Agriculture (TCCIMA) on Tuesday attended by João Côrte-Real, Portuguese Ambassador to Iran and a business delegation from the Bussiness Association of the Portuguese city of Viana Do Castelo, headed by its president José Luís Rocha Ceia.
The two sides agreed that SMEs are the best candidates to keep up trade between Iran and Europe as the US unilateral sanctions have targeted big state Iranian companies.
The Portuguese ambassador said Tehran Chamber of Commerce can pave the way for SMEs to expand mutual commercial ties.
He called on the TCCIMA and Empresarial Association of the Portuguese city of Viana Do Castelo to be in frequent contact and hold talks on how to further expand their cooperation.
“We are interested to strengthen the bridges that connect us and are prepared to be flexible in our own trade mechanisms at the request of Iran,” said Luís Ceia.
Iranian exports to Portugal rose more than 12% in value and over 35% in weight during the last 10 months (21 March 2018-21 January 2019), according to the latest data published by Iran's Customos Administration (IRICA). The exports have topped 4 million dollars. Portugal ranked 75 among 100 countries with which Iran has trade.
Also, head of Energy Commission at Iran Chamber of Commerce Ali Shams Ardakani asked the Portuguese officials to organize their SMEs for prioritized projects such as cooperation in renewable energy. He also urged these companies to use INSTEX for easier financial transactions.
The Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) was created by Germany, France and the UK, the three European signatories to the 2015 Iran nculear deal, on the last day of January. It's designed, in its first phase, to unblock the European exports of pharmaceuticals, medical devices and agri-foods. It's not been implemeneted yet.
Moreover, Mohammad Amirzadeh, a member of the Tehran Chamber of Commerce, active in petrochemical production, said Iranian companies are ready to export to Portugal.
He also noted that Iran can be used as a base for the re-export of Portuguese products to Iran's 15 neighbours.