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Iran exports non-oil goods worth $116.3m to Ghana in 7 months

Ruhollah Latifi also announced that the Islamic Republic imported products valued at $5.9 million from Ghana in the seven-month period.

Among the African trade partners of Iran in the first seven months of this year, Ghana was the first export destination of the Iranian products, and the third source of import to the country, he added.

As the official has announced, Iran exported 1.205 million tons of non-oil commodities valued at $434 million to Africa during the first seven months of the current Iranian calendar year.

Latifi said that the country’s seven-month export to Africa fell 53 percent in value, and 33 percent in weight, year on year.

The official also announced that Iran imported 38,122 tons of goods valued at $47.434 million from Africa in the first seven months of the present year, with 21 percent drop in worth and 42 percent fall in weight, as compared to the same period of time in the past year.

Over the past 40 years, the Islamic Republic of Iran has never given up on its principled policy towards Africa due to political and cultural commonalities, despite the sanctions, pressure and disruptions of the West, and has always maintained itself alongside the people and countries of Africa.

As reported, during the Iranian calendar years 1384 and 1385 (March 2005-March 2007), the relations between Iran and the African continent increased in terms of trade, but since 1386, the economic relations between Iran and Africa have decreased due to the economic crisis and cruel sanctions against Iran.

Surveys show that in the past years, due to the lack of restoration of economic relations with Africa, the amount of trade with the countries of this continent has remained at the level of $1.2 billion, but according to Mohammed-Sadeq Qanadzadeh, the director general of the Africa Department of Iran’s Trade Promotion Organization (TPO), facilitating the trade route with Africa is happening now and it is expected that the trade figure with this continent will reach $10 billion in the next three years.

In fact, good steps have been taken to use Africa’s capacity, and Africa can be a suitable market for Iranian goods, Qanadzadeh stated.

Last year, the official referred to the beginning of the 13th government’s measures to develop relations with the African continent, and said: “Over the past [Iranian calendar] year 1400 (ended on March 20, 2022), a series of measures have been initiated, which were resulted in the visit of about 60 African trade delegations, active presence in the exhibitions of this continent, the opening of 10 trade centers, and the dispatch of three commercial attachés.

“As the result of these measures, Iran’s trade with Africa experienced a 100-percent growth from $650 million in the Iranian year 1399, and also in the first nine months of the year 1401, Iran-Africa trade was equal to the total trade of the previous year, and we also experienced a growth of about 700 percent in the export of technical and engineering services”, he added.

Also as announced by Ruhollah Latifi, the value of trade between Iran and Africa rose two percent in the past Iranian calendar year 1401 (ended on March 20).

He put Iran-Africa annual trade at 2.545 million tons worth $1.278 billion.

Iran exported 2.452 million tons of products valued at $1.183 billion to 49 African countries in the past year, showing one percent fall, and imported 92,898 tons of goods worth $95.316 million from 23 African countries, indicating 59 percent growth, year on year, according to Latifi.

Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister for Economic Diplomacy Mehdi Safari has said that the economies of Iran and the African continent are complementary to each other, and due to their abundant capacities, significant achievements can be achieved in this due.

He made the remarks at the Scientific and Economic Cooperation Meeting Between Iran and West African Countries (IRAN WAC) which was held in Tehran in mid-March.

As reported, 20 multilateral and bilateral cooperation agreements were signed between Iran and West African countries in the first day of the mentioned event, and the expansion and deepening of comprehensive economic cooperation was emphasized.

Addressing that meeting, President Raisi emphasized Tehran’s readiness to comprehensively expand cooperation with African countries, especially countries in the west of this continent.

He also said that the current level of trade between Iran and Africa is not acceptable, and according to the capacities and efforts of the authorities of the Islamic Republic of Iran and West African countries, it is expected that the cooperation and economic relations between them will change even more.

As stated by the experts, in order to increase the level of trade with Africa certain infrastructure including transportation and direct shipping lines, as well as proper legal, commercial, monetary, and banking relations must be provided.

It is said that in the near future, the African continent will become a great power in the world due to having 18 percent of the world’s population and increasing population growth.

Statistics show that the African continent has 30 percent of mineral reserves, 40 percent of gold, and 90 percent of chromium and platinum in the world. The continent also has the largest reserves of cobalt, diamonds, platinum and uranium in the world.

Also, Africa has 65 percent of the world’s arable land, 10 percent of renewable fresh water resources, and 12 percent of the world’s oil reserves.

As stated by Mehrad Ebad, a member of the board of representatives of Tehran Chamber of Commerce, Industries, Mines, and Agriculture (TCCIMA), in the last 20 years, Africa’s foreign trade has grown significantly, but Iran has not yet been able to use this capacity.

According to Ebad, one of the issues that caused the African market to be neglected was the lack of proper introduction of this market to Iranian traders and businessmen.

“In order to develop trade and relations with African countries, it is suggested the activity of joint chambers of commerce to introduce target markets and existing risks will be increased; Because our exporters are not interested to go to African markets due to lack of knowledge”, he commented.

He also considered the cruel sanctions as another problem of trade with Africa and said that the traders are forced to send their goods to these countries through neighboring countries such as the UAE, Oman and Turkey in order to export their goods to African countries. It will cause re-export of goods and increase costs.

Despite existence of some barriers in the way of expanding trade between Iran and Africa, the visit of Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi to three African countries (Kenya, Uganda, and Zimbabwe) in mid-July proves that the current government is serious about developing cooperation and communication with the African continent in order to secure the country’s economic interests.

Economic experts believe that the president’s visit to Africa provided the basis for increasing Iran’s presence in the 60-billion-dollar economy of the African continent and will increase the level of activity of Iranian traders and businessmen in this continent.

Source: Tehran Times