“A network of eight business centers have been activated across Africa to provide a wide range of services to manufacturing and exporting companies that have a presence in the African market,” Director-General of TPO’s Africa Office Mohammad-Sadeq Qanadzadeh said.
Speaking at a conference on the trade capacities of Iran and North Africa, Qanadzadeh stated that these centers are located in Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Ivory Coast, Ghana, Cameroon, Senegal, Nigeria, Algeria, and South Africa and this network will be further expanded and completed by the end of the current Iranian calendar year (March 20).
Mentioning TPO’s measures for the development of trade between Iran and Africa, the official said that attending four major exhibitions in Africa, exchange of more than 100 business delegations, holding a series of conferences to introduce African business capacities, the imminent dispatch of three commercial attaches to different regions in Africa and numerous specialized meetings with the export unions and syndicates of the African countries during the past nine months are among the steps that the TPO has taken to improve trade with Africa.
Back in August 2022, Qanadzadeh announced a plan for opening 10 trade centers in Africa by the end of the current Iranian year.
Speaking at the first meeting of the Iran-Africa House which was held in collaboration with TPO, Qanadzadeh stated: “The purpose of this meeting is to introduce Iran's investment and business opportunities to African trade partners.”
Stressing the need for the improvement of infrastructure and providing new incentives for the development of trade with Africa, Qanadzadeh noted that several contracts have been signed with African trade partners for the development of infrastructure and maritime and air transportation.
“The agreement for the establishment of a direct airline between Iran and South Africa will also be concluded by the end of the year,” he added.
He further pointed to the upward trend of trade with African nations, saying: “In the first quarter of this year, many African countries have been among Iran's top trade partners, which is a very good thing.”
Earlier in June last year, TPO Head Alireza Peyman-Pak said the country is taking the necessary steps to increase annual trade exchanges with African countries to $5 billion by the Iranian calendar year 1404 (begins in March 2025).
Peyman-Pak said the trade with the mentioned countries is expected to reach $2.5 billion by the end of the current Iranian calendar year.
Referring to the preparation of the country's trade development roadmap at the beginning of the work of the 13th administration, the official said: "In this roadmap, major factors including exports and the share of different sectors are specified, and in the case of Africa, the priorities and targets for trade with different countries and the requirements for reaching these targets are determined."
Peyman-Pak put the share of African countries in Iran's export basket at $1.2 billion, saying: "Africa's annual imports amount to about $580 billion and our share of this figure is still small despite all the efforts. We have managed to export $1.2 billion to this market."
As announced on Sunday by Vice President of Iran and Africa Merchants Club Ruhollah Latifi, Iran exported 2.209 million tons of non-oil products valued at $1,093,875,996 to the African countries during the period from the beginning of the current Iranian calendar year (March 21, 2022) up to December 31.
According to Latifi, Iran and Africa traded 2.29 million tons of commodities worth $1.169 million in the mentioned period.
The official said 96.5 percent of the total weight of the traded goods was related to the Iranian exports to Africa, while 93.5 percent of the total value was also gained by Iranian exporters.
He named South Africa, Mozambique, Ghana, Sudan, and Nigeria as the main export destinations for Iranian products while Tanzania, Kenya, South Africa, Ghana, and Seychelles were the major sources of imports among the African countries in the period under review.
According to Latifi, following the 13th government’s policy of multilateralism and attention to new markets, especially in Asia and Africa, Iran's business relations with African countries have been on the path of growth.