Iran and Africa Business Club has contributed greatly to the prosperity of Iran’s business with Africa
Siyadat Nesab, former business advisor of Iran in South Africa, in a note while explaining the need to pay attention to the market of African countries, he emphasized about the role of the Iran and Africa Business Club in increasing business with this continent in the last two years.
Mehrdad Siyadat Nesab- Senior Advisor of the Iran and Africa Business Club and the former business adviser of the Islamic Republic of Iran in South Africa. After Asia, Africa is the second largest continent in the world with more than 1.3 billion people. It also has the fastest growing population and as an emerging market with an average growth of 4%. In the past years it is considered a suitable place for investment and business. Moreover, the development of industry, trade and increase in per capita income in many countries has created a wide demand for consumer goods and infrastructure services including energy, water, land, rail and air transportation, ITC and urban infrastructure development. And it has created many capacities in the field of trade and investment, which can provide a large market to the economic activists of our country.
In a general view, the African continent is rich in raw materials such as agricultural products, oil seeds, animal feed, sugar, tea, coffee, red meat, minerals, gold, diamonds, etc. many of which are among the main imported items of our country. And on the other hand, based on the studies done, Iran has the potential to export some important products needed by African countries in commodity groups such as food, petroleum derivatives and mineral oils, medicine and medical equipment, plastic materials, petrochemical and chemical products, steel products and construction materials to these markets. In addition, there are many opportunities to export services and invest in infrastructure areas including transportation and energy, information and communication (ICT) and water resources. Since in business relations we should try to complement each other, given the very good capacities on both sides, this issue can provide the basis for mutual cooperation and joint work.
This is despite the fact that there are many fields of business cooperation, considering the lack of recognition of businessmen and economic activists in Iran. From the capacities and fields of cooperation with the African continent, and on the other hand, the lack of knowledge of African businessmen and economic activists about the production and export capabilities of our country. It can be said that one of the problems that has prevented the development of relations between Iran and Africa so far is the fact that the markets are unknown to businessmen and economic activists of both sides. And on the other hand, the high cost of transportation and the lack of infrastructure, lack of attention to branding and continuous presence in the African market and Iranian exporters and lack of importance to scientific marketing. Also, not paying attention to consumers’ tastes and adapting destination standards has been one of the problems faced by Iranian businessmen in developing cooperation with African countries.
Looking at the statistics of our country’s trade with Africa, Iran’s exports to African countries in 1401 reached two million 452 thousand tons of goods worth one billion and 183 million dollars. And the import of goods from this continent has also reached 92,898 tons worth of 95 million dollars. Although this statistic is not in any way proportional to the commercial capacities of both sides. But it indicates the beginning of a transformation in our country’s business relations with Africa in the 13th government, which should be exploited as an important and significant opportunity with the interaction of the government and the private sector.
It is worth mentioning that one of the factors that has played an important role in the development of our country’s trade relations with the African continent in recent years is the activities of the Iran and Africa Business Club in the field of introducing areas of bilateral economic and trade cooperation. And helping to facilitate and develop business relations, specialized services in the field of holding business events, conferences, business meetings, etc., have been in line with the development of bilateral business exchanges to businessmen and economic activists, which has been able to play a role as a leading private sector organization in trade with the African region by having professional specialists and experts and using current knowledge and operational experience in the African region.
In fact, it can be said that Iran and Africa Business Club has been advancing with a scientific approach to the categories of economy and trade since the very beginning of its activities, with a view beyond short-term interests and with a view aligned with national interests. In this way, as a commercial organization of the private sector, it promotes and develops trade and economic activities and investment between the Islamic Republic of Iran and African countries. With the aim of improving the level of business knowledge and making businessmen and economic activists aware of the capacities and fields of bilateral economic and commercial cooperation. Moreover, the development of commercial infrastructure, facilitating the processes of transporting goods, facilitating commercial exchanges, helping to transfer money and finally increasing the volume of commercial relations with African countries based on the production and export capabilities of our country and the import needs of African countries. And also providing our country’s imported items from the African continent, it has provided extensive services to economic activists and today, having a business network in African countries, plays a role as a pioneer of trade with Africa in this field. And in 1402, it has prepared extensive plans for the effective presence of Iranian companies and influence in the African market.