TEHRAN – The Islamic Republic of Iran will focus on its oil, gas, and car industries with an eye to exporting to Europe after sanctions have been lifted, Industry, Mines and Trade Mohammad Reza Ne’matzadeh told the Iran-EU conference on trade and investment, which was held in the Austrian capital Vienna from July 23 to 24.
Iran prefers exporting to Europe rather than simply importing Western technology, he added.
Ne’matzadeh said Iran aimed to join the World Trade Organization once political obstacles were removed and would be interested in trade deals with Europe and central Asian countries.
European companies can regard Iran as a platform for manufacturing joint products and exporting the products to the regional countries, he added.
“Although sanctions have affected the country in technological fields, but we have made noticeable progresses in different areas,” he said.
Elsewhere in his remarks, Ne’matzadeh referred to the development of oil, gas, and automotive industries as the main priorities of the government.
***Oil and gas projects worth $185 billion targeted
Ne’matzadeh outlined plans to rebuild the country’s main industries and trade relationships following a nuclear agreement with world powers, saying it was targeting oil and gas projects worth $185 billion by 2020.
“We are looking for a two-way trade as well as cooperation in development, design and engineering,” he noted.
“We are no longer interested in a unidirectional importation of goods and machinery from Europe,” he said.
****New oil contract model to be unveiled within 2-3 months
Iran’s deputy oil minister for commerce and international affairs, Hossein Zamaninia, said on the sidelines of the conference that Iran had defined a new model of contract which it calls its integrated petroleum contract (IPC) and will unveil it within 2-3 months.
“This model contract addresses some of the deficiencies of the old buyback contract and it further aligns the short- and long-term interests of parties involved,” he said.
He said the deals would last 20-25 years - much longer than the previously less popular buybacks, which effectively were fee paying deals with global oil majors such as France’s Total for services they performed on Iranian oil fields.
Representatives of 70 Iranian companies, led by Ne’matzadeh, participated in the Iran-EU conference on trade and investment, which was the first post-sanction economic conference between Iran and the European Union, aiming to review economic ties and discuss ways to boost trade between Iran and EU nations.
The delegation was comprised of managers of oil, gas, petrochemical, mining, banking, and automotive industries.
The event was held in cooperation with the Austrian Federal Economic Chamber and Trade Promotion Organization of Iran as well as Iran’s joint chambers of commerce with Germany, France and Britain.
The value of trade between Iran and the European Union member states reached €2.407 billion in the first four months of 2015, a four percent rise from €2.201 billion in the same period of time in 2014, according to the EU statistics agency Eurostat.
The value of trade between Iran and the EU countries rose 20 percent in 2014 compared to its previous year.