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France Trade Delegation in Iran Paves Way for Renewed Ties

Feb. 4 (Bloomberg) -- A French delegation of more than 100 businesspeople met with top Iranian trade officials today to explore opportunities following the relaxation of international sanctions on Iran.

Sanctions prevented France and Iran from benefiting from “opportunities, in particular in the automotive and energy industries,” Iranian Minister of Industry and Commerce Mohammad Reza Nematzadeh told delegation members today.

Under the new government of President Hassan Rouhani, “we hope a new era of joint investment and economic cooperation will start and the two nations will be strategic partners,” Nematzadeh said.

The visit, in its second day, demonstrates international appetite to do business with Iran again following an interim nuclear deal with world powers that eased trade sanctions against the Islamic Republic. Officials in Iran, a country of almost 80 million, are courting new investment and technologies after years of political and economic isolation under former President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

The delegation is led by French business association Medef International and includes companies from the energy, automotive, transportation, telecommunications, banking and cosmetics industries, state-run Iranian Students News Agency reported, citing Medef’s vice president, Thierry Courtaigne.

Some of the visiting companies have already operated in Iran, others came “to get familiar with Iran’s market”, Ambassador to Tehran Bruno Foucher said at a meeting of Iranian and French businesspeople in Tehran yesterday, the Oil Ministry news website Shana said in a report today.

To contact the reporter on this story: Ladane Nasseri in Dubai at lnasseri@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Andrew J. Barden at barden@bloomberg.net

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