TEHRAN – A large exhibition showcasing a variety of Indian products opened in Tehran on Sunday with the aim of contributing to efforts to diversify trade and investment between India and Iran.
The Multi-Sectoral Indian Product Show & Buyer-Seller Meet, which is being held at the Parsian Esteghlal Hotel, closes on Tuesday.
The exhibition has been organized by the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) with the guidance of the Indian Embassy in Tehran.
Sixty-four leading companies are exhibiting a wide range of Indian products, including food items, automobile components, rubber, steel, pharmaceuticals, chemicals, agricultural and information technology products, and industrial machinery.
The show offers a great opportunity for the Iranian business community to see the latest range of Indian products, meet senior representatives of Indian companies, and conclude profitable business deals.
“I am confident that this Product Show & BSM will provide all participants with an opportunity to share ideas and collaborate with the businesses which will further boost our economic engagement with Iran. I hope this exhibition will help Indian companies to establish long-term relationship with their Iranian counterparts,” the Indian ambassador to Iran, Mr. Shri D.P. Srivastava, wrote in a message to the exhibition.
Iran is a major trading partner for India: FICCI director
Mr. Goutam Ghosh, the joint director and head of the Arab division of the FICCI, delivered the inaugural speech of the exhibition, in which he said that the exhibition is one of the largest multi-product exhibitions ever held in Tehran.
He also emphasized that the volume of annual bilateral trade should be increased given the strong historical relations binding the two nations.
“Iran is a major trade partner for India,” he said, noting that the vast potential for business cooperation between the two countries should be utilized.
Frequent exchange of delegations and raising awareness about the products that India has to offer will contribute to the promotion of trade ties, Mr. Ghosh stated.
After the speeches, the guests made a tour of the exhibition stands at Darya-ye Noor Hall.
Iran and India should gain a better understanding of each other’s economy: FICCI secretary general
In an exclusive interview with the Tehran Times on the sidelines of the exhibition, Mr. Didar Singh, the FICCI secretary general, said that India is keen on joint investment in various fields, especially the petrochemical sector.
The current value of annual trade between the two countries stands at about $15 billion, he said, adding, “There is a lot of potential for increasing the relationship.”
The volume of imports from Iran is about $11 billion, while India’s exports to Iran are worth around $4 billion, Mr. Singh stated.
Asked if similar exhibitions have been held by Iran in India, he said, “Big exhibitions like this have not been held yet. We want that to happen.”
But Iranian business delegations have visited India in the past two to three years, he added.
Mr. Singh also stated that the two countries do not have a thorough understanding of each other’s economy. “This is the gap that we have to fill.”
Trade between the two countries should be diversified, he said, adding that India will participate in the Tehran international exhibition, which is scheduled to be held in 2014.
Elsewhere in his remarks, the FICCI secretary general said that the Indian private sector is very keen to establish business ties with Iranian companies.
“We have a very old political and cultural relationship, and economic ties should be strengthened.”
He stated that 80 delegates are taking part in the exhibition.
Mr. Singh also replied to a question about the prospects of economic ties between Tehran and New Delhi given the recent historic nuclear deal reached between Iran and world powers, according to which Tehran will offer some concessions in exchange for limited relief from the sanctions imposed on the country.
Bilateral trade will definitely increase, he said, adding, “But the sanctions contributed to a better relationship between India and Iran because we were able to maintain our old trade links and have a rupee-rial arrangement.”
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