By Mahnaz Abdi

Iran’s railway sector exciting with huge potential for foreigners

May 18, 2016

Iran’s railway sector is exciting with a lot of potentials for foreign exhibitors participating in Iran’s 4th International Exhibition of Rail Transportation, Related Industries and Equipment, dubbed RAILEXPO 2016 (running from May 15 to 18 in Tehran).

The following is what some of them told the Tehran Times in the exhibit.

‘Sanctions removal to facilitate business in Iran’

Firdavsi Nuraliev, the export sales manager of Lukoil Lubricants Middle East, the branch of Russian Lukoil Lubricants Company for the Middle East market, believes that the removal of sanctions will facilitates everything for business in Iran.

“We have always wanted to enter the Iranian market as it is one of the main markets in the Middle East,” he stated.

“We want to enter the Iranian market in several stages. The first stage is to have a specific part of Iranian market on which we could trust. It will be achieved through producing the high quality of our products to the Iranian customers so that the demand will be increased, and then in the next stage we want to produce our products inside Iran,” the manager explained.

He mentioned high tax and customs duties Iran set for the foreign products entering the country as a downside for business in the Islamic Republic, although he said that this barrier is temporary and will be resolved as the Iranian government plans to establish free trade zones in the country where taxes are exempted or lower.


‘Iranian workers require training on modern equipment’

Wolfgang R. Fally, the CEO of Germany’s Robel Company, a specialist for railway construction equipment and machinery, believes that there is no downside for activity in the Iranian market rather than local workers require some training to work with modern equipment.

“Experience of the workers here with the machines is a bit different from that of European ones. Maybe that is something that modern equipments are getting more complicated. You need the skill in the future to work with them. So it’s on us to provide more service and education and training to the operators of the machines,” he explained.

Speaking about the upside of business in Iran, the German manager stated, “As we have a long-term partnership with our agent here, for many years we are in close contact with the Iranian market. It is a huge market. Of course, that is very good for us. Especially in the urban areas I think there is a lot of potential, because you have big cities here.”

Asked if his company has any plan for transfer of technology to Iran, he said, “At this moment it should be convinced that our products are the right ones [for the Iranian market] and if the volume [of sales] gets bigger and if there is interest from the customers’ perspective, it’s an option of course to localize something here with our partner.”


 ‘Iranian market exciting with many upcoming projects’

Thierry Metrat, the product manager in Spain’s Pfisterer Company, a provider of solutions for railway electrification, said, “The Iranian market is very exciting, because there is big potential especially for railway electrification. There are many projects for the next years, so we are very happy to be here.”

“The political situation [in Iran] is now very good. It’s much better than before because countries are more open regarding what happened in the last months [sanctions removal],” the Italian manager noted.


 ‘Iran’s railway sector awaits lots of investment’

Fabrizio Maggioni, the sales manager of the Italian railway company Mont-Ele, highlighted, “We believe Iranian market is attractive because we know that in the future there would be a lot of investment in the sector, both for railway and also for urban transportation system.”

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