By John Lee.
The CEO of the Irish Exporters Association has said that exporters are missing out on a “huge opportunity” to do business in Iran.
The Irish Examiner quotes Simon McKeever (pictured) as saying that a slow response from government agencies to the lifting of sanctions has allowed others to steal a march on tapping into the €360-billion economy:
“What are we doing about Iran?
“We’re the only EU country that doesn’t have a [trade] mission [to Iran].
“We see opportunities for Irish companies out there in the food and drink sector and dairy sector, engineering, ICT.
“We see it in automotive and in the aircraft leasing sector.
“There are huge opportunities out there; 80m people in the country in the centre of an economic region of about 300m. So we do think the Irish embassy in Iran should be reopened.”
A Department of Foreign Affairs spokesperson said:
“There has always been interest in the opportunities presented by the removal of sanctions on Iran, and the Irish Government will do what it can to assist those who wish to explore this opportunity.
“It is important to note however that the main Irish sectors for exports to Iran — food and medical supplies — were never subject to sanctions.
“State agencies Bord Bia and Enterprise Ireland are aware of the market and have already made visits to Iran.
“Ambassador Brendan Ward in Ankara, who is accredited to Iran, has also made a number of visits there, combining both political and commercial contacts.”
(Source: Irish Examiner)