Iran, Italy hold talks on facilitating banking transactions during sanctions

Business Materials 28 October 2018 16:17 (UTC +04:00)

Tehran, Iran, Oct.28


Despite the US sanctions against Iran the volume of trade between Iran and Italy has grown by 10-12 percent in recent months, to almost $1.8 billion, the chairman of the Italy-Iran chamber of commerce Ahmad Pourfallah told Trend.

Referring to the impact of US sanctions on Iran-Italy relations, he said that the sanctions have a various range of consequences in different countries, but the fluctuations in relationship with EU is less than the other countries.

“Experience has also shown that Italy has different attitude towards Iran as the first Iranian trading partner in the European Union.”

"Iran recorded a positive trade balance with Italy, which means that Italy's import from us are more than Iran’s import from Italy,” he said. “Italy has always tried to maintain its economic and political ties with Iran, but sanctions may put an end to the presence of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and cut the ties between the multinational companies which are working with the dollar,” he said.

“Nonetheless, the exchange level will be reduced insignificantly.”

Referring to the volume of bilateral exchanges, he said that in recent months, there has been a 10-12 percent increase in trade volumes.

Pointing to the Chamber`s effort to facilitate the transfer of money transactions he noted that many talks were held in Tehran and Rome with bankers and Italian counterparts to encourage the small and medium sized banks with fewer dollar connections to facilitate bilateral transaction.

“But this way is good for small exchanges and cannot provide huge exchanges. However, these banks are also awaiting the decision of the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication (SWIFT) on Iran,” said PourFallah.

“Of course, this low level relationship between Iran and Italy is not appropriate, and we hope that the with the help of SWIFT and The Financial Action Task Force (FATF), the problems will be resolved, so that the necessary interactions can be made,” he said.

Referring to the items exchanged between the two countries he said that Iran's most important exports to Italy are raw materials. Most of these items include precious stones, leather, dried fruits, oil and petrochemicals.

“Italy tops the list of Iran's biggest export destinations in the EU and has never cut its purchases in recent years, as most Italian refineries are designed for Iranian oil, which is difficult to replace,” he said.

“Italian exports also include diverse products widely used in the infrastructure of industries such as steel, textile, petroleum and petrochemicals. Most of these items include machinery, spare parts, chemicals, seed oils and clothing.”