Macedonia and Iran pledge to boost trade cooperation


Businessmen from Iran consider Macedonia a gateway to the region and Europe in general. On the other hand, due to its central location and geo-strategic importance sharing borders with dozen countries, Iran offers a myriad of opportunities for the companies in Macedonia.

This was stated Thursday by Gholamhossein Shafei, head of Iran's Chamber of Commerce, Industries, Mines and Agriculture, at a business forum in the Economic Chamber of Macedonia.

Trade exchange between the countries, he said, is symbolic and an initiative should be launched to facilitate visa regime and to sign treaties to facilitate customs procedures.

"It is necessary to use existing capacities in order to stimulate relations between the two countries," Shafei said adding Macedonia last year imported commodities from Iran in amount of $4.76 million while exporting goods estimated at $401,000.

The Iranian chamber of commerce consists of over 60 members, 34 local chambers and more than 200 associations and organizations.

"We propose cooperation between private companies in the two countries by setting up joint companies that would produce goods as a joint brand, which will be exported in the countries in the region," Shafei stated saying he hoped Macedonia would support Iran's bid to join the World Trade Organization.

With a population of 80 million inhabitants, Iran is one of the largest players in the world, thus being a challenge for every country and every company, according to Branko Azeski, President of the Economic Chamber of Macedonia. 

"Iran is our traditional partner fostering relations since 1993, however the distance and all conflicts in the Middle East have done their part. We think now is the time to make a step and boost cooperation," he noted adding that opportunities for cooperation with Iran existed in many areas. 

Furthermore, the countries' chambers of commerce signed a memorandum of cooperation and B2B meetings with the business delegation from Iran were organized

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