A new era? 110 French firms to return to Iran next month
The delegation will be comprised of representatives from French automotive, oil, banking, and transportation sectors.
A delegation of 110 biggest French companies will visit Iran next month to seek business as relations thaw with western powers, ISNA reported on Sunday. The delegation will be comprised of representatives from French automotive, oil, banking, and transportation sectors.
The prospect of an easing of trade restrictions has whetted the appetite of French firms eager to win back business in a country where some used to have extensive operations, Reuters reported.
The French Medef bosses' association has organised the visit for Feb. 2-5, its president Pierre Gattaz told a news conference. Former French ambassador to Iran Francois Nicoullaud told Reuters those French firms that operated in Iran before the sanctions wanted to return.He cited Renault, PSA Peugeot Citroen, Airbus Group, Credit Agricole, Societe Generale and BNP Paribas.
Peugeot and Renault already sent executives to Iran for an automotive conference last year.
Europe's business community is abuzz with preparations to rush back into Iran, an economic powerhouse in the Middle East, as some sanctions are suspended, AP reported on Friday.
France is sending business executives by the planeload to Iran. German and Dutch entrepreneurs are taking courses on how to close a deal in Tehran, and car makers are drawing up plans for investment.
Under a deal with world powers, Tehran has agreed to curb its nuclear program in exchange for some sanctions relief and the unfreezing of about $4.2 billion in overseas assets. Iran and world powers now have six months to conclude a permanent deal.
More hand-shaking will take place soon thereafter in Tehran, when France's business lobby group flies in executives representing about 100 firms for "exploratory" talks to take advantage of the sanctions' suspension, an official with the organization said.
Competitors are doing the same, so firms from the oil and gas sector, carmakers and other manufacturing companies want to move quickly, added the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the subject remains sensitive within governments.