Helsinki Seeks Stronger Trade Bonds With Tehran: Finnish Minister

January 20, 2003 - 0:0
HELSINKI -- The time is ripe for expansion of trade ties between Iran and Finland, Finnish Foreign Trade and Tourism Minister Jari Vilen stressed here Saturday.

Vilen, speaking to IRNA, said that the signing of an accord last year to support mutual economic ties and possibly of an agreement to lift double taxation would be positive steps in the direction of expanding bilateral commercial cooperation.

He further called for removal of the existing imbalance between the two countries' export and import volumes, adding that Iranian entrepreneurs should upgrade the quality of their products in order to compete successfully in Finland's competitive market.

The minister also hailed the active presence of Iranian tourism companies in the Finland International Travel Fair (Matka) in Helsinki.

"Finland is one of the European Union members that supports expansion of economic and political ties with Iran," he stressed.

Meanwhile, Iran and Finland held a session of their joint economic association here Saturday.

The meeting was attended by Finnish Foreign Trade and Tourism Minister Jari Vilen and Iranian Ambassador to Helsinki Abbas Araqchi.

The head of the Iran-Finland Joint Trade Association, Jouka Solanto, briefed the session on the two countries' current bilateral trade, their governments' efforts to boost cooperation and those of Iranian and Finnish entrepreneurs in improving the trade situation.

The Iran-Finland Trade Association, following a brief, initial three-year period, has increased its activities since 1991 and has been able to attract many Finnish companies to engage in commercial transactions with their Iranian counterparts.

Earlier, in November 2002, Finland called on Iran to sign an accord to avoid double taxation.

Both countries, in a ceremony, also signed protocols encouraging and supporting mutual investment.