The deputy official of Iran and Africa Business Club said:
The president’s visit to three African countries shows Iran’s determination to develop comprehensive relations with Africa.
Sayed Ruhollah Latifi, the deputy of the Iran and Africa Business Club, said on the eve of the president’s visit to three countries Kenya, Uganda and Zimbabwe: The trip of the highest executive official of our country after 10 years shows the importance of the African continent in the foreign policy of the Islamic Republic of Iran to be present in virgin markets and to use all political, economic and commercial capacities in line with national interests with mutual respect.
He added: With the inauguration of the 13th government, we saw a 100% growth in exports to Africa, and this trip can be a prelude to solving the infrastructural problems of trade relations with this continent and ultimately expanding trade relations with Africa.
Regarding the obstacles to the expansion of trade relations with Africa, Latifi said: the government should solve the obstacles of transportation to Africa and the movement of money in order to facilitate trade and marketing of Iranian goods. To provide more capacities in this field along with the limited solutions of the private sector. In order to reduce the risk of trade with Africa and vice versa. And in addition to these two issues, to create the necessary infrastructure for the introduction of Iranian products to the target markets, to assess the needs of the target market, along with strengthening the advantages of Iranian products. To pursue the reduction of tariffs for the entry of Iranian goods into African markets by signing a preferential trade agreement in negotiations and active diplomacy.
The former spokesman of the customs continued to add: increasing the number of business consultants in Africa, the initiative of setting up business centers in the target countries. Holding exhibitions and supporting Iranian businessmen to attend exhibitions. Removing the restriction on the import of gold into the country and accepting gold bars in exchange for export currency are among the actions of the 13th government along with its active diplomacy to improve trade relations especially in Africa, in which the result will be more visible in the coming years.
The deputy official of the Iran and Africa Business Club explained about Iran’s trade within the three countries of Kenya, Uganda and Zimbabwe: In the previous year, Iran’s trade with these three countries was more than 128.5 thousand tons of goods worth $73,781,000. 124, 214 tons of Iranian goods worth $54,667,000 were the share of Iran’s exports and 4,351 tons of goods worth $19,114,000 were the share of our imports from these three countries.
He added: Iran’s exports to Kenya were 53.2 million dollars, to Uganda 1.2 million dollars and to Zimbabwe 236 thousand dollars. Also bitumen with 41 million dollars accounted for 75% of the value of Iran’s exports to these three countries. Industrial oil with 3.7 million dollars, other petroleum products with 2.3 million dollars, edible fibers with 1.9 million dollars and polyethylene with 955 thousand dollars.
Regarding export goods, Latifi further said: Honey, pistachios, raisins, dried fruits, saffron, canned fish, sweets and chocolates, biscuits, tomato paste, food supplements, plaster and cement, medicine, vaccines and medical equipment, urea, cosmetic products, rubber, luggage, carpets and rugs, shoes and hats, glass containers, industrial machinery, wires and cables, tractors, sofas, awnings and faucets were among the other export goods of Iran to Kenya, Uganda and Zimbabwe, which accounted for 97% of exports carried out to Kenya.
The deputy official of the Iran and Africa Business Club said regarding imports from these three countries: In 2022, Kenya sold 17.3 million dollars, Zimbabwe 1.4 million dollars, and Uganda 1 million dollars’ worth of goods to our country, 85% of which was Kenya’s export to Iran.
He added: Tea, with a share of 84% worth 16 million dollars, is at the top of imported goods from these three countries. After that, tobacco with 1 million dollars and coffee with 886 thousand dollars are in the next place. Pineapple juice, aromatic plants, printing ink, roll sheets for producing containers, containers and monkeys for medical research were among the other imported goods from these three countries.
Latifi further said: The market of 115 million people in Kenya, Uganda and Zimbabwe is of special importance, and we hope that with the visit of the president, an important step will be taken to improve the level of relations. Especially fuel, medical equipment and medicine, tourism, transportation and transfer of knowledge and joint investment in technical and engineering services, refinery, extraction and exploitation of oil and gas and food products, exploitation of mines, extraterritorial cultivation and the production of inputs will have high capacities for commercial and economic activity between Iran and these three countries.