Iranian Minister of Commerce and Industry and Minerals Mehdi Ghazanfari invited his Egyptian counterpart to visit Tehran at the earliest opportunity to study boosting trade between the two countries. He pointed out that Egypt and Iran are already cooperating in the auto sector.
Ghazanfari told Al-Masry al-Youm that his country is ready to expand trade with Cairo. He called on the Egyptian government to resolve the visa problem for Iranian businessmen and tourists that is impeding the flow of investments.
The Iranian minister called on businessmen in both countries not to wait for the politicians to make decisions on economic and trade cooperation, stressing that there are no obstacles in that regard, especially since Egypt has funds abroad that should be used for joint projects.
He said that Iran can provide customs and tax relief, and highlighted the role of the private sector in attracting foreign investments to both countries. He expected the drop in the value of the Iranian currency to increase investments.
“We had to introduce changes in the currency system after the tightening of sanctions on our country. We are having problems transferring hard currency and this is putting pressure on the currency market,” he said.
Ghazanfari denied Iranian intentions to acquire Egyptian banks, saying, “The banking relationship continues to be limited between the two countries.”
For his part, Abdel Sater Ashra, the Secretary-General of the Iranian-Egyptian Friendship Association and an adviser to the Chambers of Commerce Federation, described the Egyptian delegation’s visit to Iran as a breakthrough for trade relations between the two countries. He unveiled proposals to import and export fruit with Egypt.
He said that the Egyptian delegation discussed strengthening bilateral economic cooperation in general and in particular the exporting of citrus fruits to Iran in exchange for Iranian apples and kiwis to Egypt.
He added, “We welcome the Iranian proposals raised during the meetings for joint agricultural cooperation.”