Italy’s private sector keen on INSTEX for trade with Iran

Italy’s private sector keen on INSTEX for trade with Iran

TEHRAN, Iran, Dec.30

Trend:

Italy's private sector is pressuring the Italian government to facilitate the process of launching the Instrument in Support of Trade Exchanges (INSTEX) and economic ties with Iran, said a board member of Iran-Italy Chamber of Commerce.

"The economic situation in Italy is that it cannot ignore the attractive Iranian market," said Lida Shahabi, Trend reports citing ILNA.

"Small and medium businesses are active in Italian economy. Around 90 percent of this business sector have less than 10 employees and have no relations with the US. Therefore, they are not concerned over the American sanctions against trade with Iran," the chamber of commerce's member added.

"These companies are inclined to have economic relations with Iran, since this is big potential in Iran's market. The officials of the two countries should attempt to solve the trade problems via negotiations side and accelerate bilateral trade ties," Shahabi said.

"We hope that Italy would join INSTEX after the new Italian government has come to power. Some Italian banks including Banco Popolare are working with Iranians to some extent and continue cooperation with old customers; however, it's not possible to open new bank accounts for Iranian customers," she noted.

"Iran and Italy trade volume during 2018 was €5.1 billion in 2018, and €3.7 billion of the figure amounted to oil export. In 2019, the trade dropped sharply to €680 million. Iran’s current export to Italy includes steel, nuts, fruit and copper, while it imports machinery, equipment for auto, textile industry goods and medicines from Italy," Shahabi said.

"Prior to US withdrawal from nuclear deal, Italy was Iran's first trade partner in the EU and many infrastructures in Iranian industries were built by Italians. Moreover, Iran sold more oil to Italy via its cooperation with ENI; however, the oil company was among the first who left Iran after the US sanctions were reimposed," she added.

INSTEX founder countries UK, France and Germany have recently announced tht six new European countries including Belgium, Denmark, Finland, the Netherlands, Norway and Sweden are joining the financial mechanism, which is designed to mitigate the effects of US sanctions on European trade with Iran.

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