Lifting of sanctions on Iran an opportunity for Malaysian SMEs

May 31, 2016

KUALA LUMPUR (Bernama) - The recent lifting of trade sanctions by the U.S. on Iran should pave the way for local companies, especially Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), to further increase their market presence there.

"The Iranian halal market is big. It is a country with a population of almost 80 million," Deputy International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Ahmad Maslan said on Tuesday.

The country's central location in Eurasia and Western Asia makes it a strategic gateway to penetrate the region's halal market with an estimated 400 million people, he told reporters after attending a forum on halal business opportunities in Iran here on Tuesday.

"Trade between the two countries is expected to rise as we can now do business in the open since the removal of the sanctions in January," he said, adding that there are also other sectors that Malaysian SMEs can tap into.

Meanwhile, Iran's Ambassador to Malaysia, Marzieh Afkham, urged Malaysian exporters to consider Iran as a bridge to the regional markets.

"Having access to Europe and central Asia is one of the priorities for working with Iran, and the Iran market is available at the same time," she said.

The forum was organized by Halal Industry Development Corporation (HDC) in collaboration with Iran ASEAN Business Council (IABC) mainly to explain the standards and practices to enable access to Iran and the surrounding regional halal markets.

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