Greater prospects for Iran-Japan business
Head of Iran's Chamber of Commerce Mohammad Nahavandian says Japanese companies are interested to be present in the country's market, Press TV reported.
Nahavandian, who was in Tokyo to attend a joint meeting of the Iranian and Japanese chambers of commerce, said on Monday that Japanese companies are looking for new markets in Asia due to the recent economic downturn.
He said that Japan's economy faced a 5.4 percent plunge in its gross domestic product (GDP) and its exports fell by 50 percent, as the recessions in the US and Europe have cut demand for Japanese goods.
Japan has been hit harder by the global financial crisis than other developed countries due to its heavy reliance on exports. The GDP decline in Japan is more than twice that in the United States.
"Iran's economy presents an opportunity for Japanese companies" to ease their economic crises, Nahavandian said.
He said that a Japanese economic delegation - including representatives of Japan's large and medium-size companies - is expected to visit Tehran with the backing of Japanese government for discussions on economic cooperation with Iran.
Nahavandian says the delegation will review investment opportunities in what is potentially the biggest market in the Middle East and finalize a number of cooperation deals.
The value of bilateral trade between Iran and Japan totaled about $20 billion in 2008.
Addressing the meeting in Tokyo on Thursday, the Iranian official invited Japan to play a greater role in the Iranian market.
"Japanese companies can enjoy the benefits of investment in Iran's stock market after satisfying the necessary legal formalities," he added.
He noted that Article 44 of Iran's Constitution has paved the way for the investment of foreign companies in the country.
"If the Japanese companies fail to seize the opportunity, their Asian rivals will grasp it," Nahavandian concluded.