Iran calls for barter trade with S. Africa to overcome banking hurdles

December 7, 2019 - 16:46

TEHRAN - Deputy head of Iran Chamber of Commerce, Industries, Mines and Agriculture said the best way for overcoming Iran and South Africa banking issues is barter trading.

Mohammadreza Karbasi, ICCIMA deputy head for International Affairs, put the two countries’ current trade turnover at nearly $100 million, saying that it is far less than the two sides’ $2-billion target. 

The official mentioned the two countries’ good political relations and noted that the two sides’ trade and economic relations should match their political ties.
He further noted that South Africa's foreign investment in 2018 reached $135 billion, and expressed hope that given the country’s current position, South Africa would be a gateway for Iran to access various African countries.

“There are great capacities in the two countries for joint investment which have remained untapped so far, and Iran chamber of commerce once again formed the Iran-South Africa Joint Economic Committee, at the request of the two sides’ businessmen,” he said.

He mentioned petrochemicals, bitumen, food, oil products, auto parts, electricity, construction, and technical services as some of the potent areas for cooperation with South Africa, noting that the best mechanism for resolving banking problems between the two countries would be barter trade.

He said the creation of proper transit and transportation infrastructure is essential for achieving the export target between Iran and South Africa, adding "Distance is one of the main reasons that South Africa is not a competitive market for Iranian businesses; this problem must be resolved with economic solutions.”

Karbasi mentioned the issue of visa and launching a direct flight from Iran to the west and east of Africa as some of the plans pursued by the ICCIMA International Affairs Department.

Unofficial statistics suggest that in the first six months of the current Iranian calendar year (March 21-September 22), the value of Iran’s exports to South Africa reached $43 million, while the figure stood at $25 million in the first half of last year, thus increasing by $16 million.

EF/MA

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