Economic Counselor of the Embassy of France Mr. Alain Gouriten in the meeting with Deputy Head of Iran Chamber of Commerce, Industries, Mines and Agriculture (ICCIMA) for International Affairs Mohammad-Reza Karbasi emphasized the readiness of his country for restoring trade ties with Iran as soon as the condition changes, adding that French businessmen have fully prepared for the revival of their ties with their Iranian counterparts.
Gouriten pointed to the problems and sanctions against Iran and described Iran’s significant economic and trade progress as unbelievable, saying that French people and companies are very interested to cooperate with Iran but at this moment since major French exporting companies are big and export most of their products to the U.S cannot lose their trade with the U.S. for trade with Iran.
He reiterated that as soon as some changes happen regarding sanctions against Iran and condition improves or agreements are reached, France is ready to resume its trade with Iran, reiterating that at first, French companies should be assured of future consequences of trade with Iran or probable sanctions.
On the financial mechanism of INSTEX launched by the Europeans, he expressed hope that problems would be resolved to pave the ground for its activation.
Meanwhile Mr. Karbasi, for his part, said that during the sanctions, Iran attained self-sufficiency in some productions, stipulated that besides innovation in production, the method of trade has also changed in the country. He added that the country put on agenda bartering trade or trade with national currencies, adding that Iran and France can launch a special financial mechanism for monetary transactions.
He then pointed to the economic recession looming on the world economy due to the spread of coronavirus pandemic and also to the decrease in the level of ties between Iran and France due to the U.S. sanctions against Iran, adding that after the U.S. pullout of the JCPOA, the level of ties between Tehran and Paris fell sharply.
Karbasi went on to say that according to the statistics, the trade between Iran and France was $3b in 2018 but due to the recession resulted from sanctions and coronavirus pandemic, the bilateral trade declined sharply. He said in 2019 and due to the U.S. pullout from the JCPOA, Iran, and France’s trade slumped to $470m and the figure has been merely around $250m in the first three quarters of the current Iranian calendar year which is not an acceptable figure.
He said the U.S. unilateral sanctions and Iranian people’s problems in facing them even in the medicine and food were of the major woes of the country, reiterating that these woes made Iranians and especially traders of the private sector to find some renovations in production and exports.
Karbasi went on to say that Iran itself is currently a producer of some products that once it used to import, adding that traders and economic activists found other ways to make sanctions ineffective like bartering or trade with national currencies which have been good experiences.
He then pointed to the exodus of French car-making companies or French companies active in the oil and gas sector from Iran due to the U.S. sanctions, saying that due to this pullout, Iran was forced to provide auto parts from its neighboring states like the UAE and Turkey and it was a blow to France because it lost its direct access to Iran market.
He also proposed to launch a special channel for solving financial transactions between Iran and France.