Assocham delegation to Iran to lure investors

New Delhi: In a bid to promote two-way trade and lure investors, industry body Assocham is leading a 50-member business delegation to Iran which is under Western sanctions for its controversial nuclear programme.

“Assocham has mounted a multi-sectoral business delegation to Iran between October 5-8 to explore business prospects for Indian industries in Iran and spread awareness about attractiveness for doing business in India,” the chamber said in a statement.

Assocham’s International Affairs Council Chairman Anil K Agarwal said the Indian industry has huge scope for investments in Iran in sectors like construction equipment, building material, hardware, pharmaceuticals, telecom, textiles and automobiles.

“Besides, India offers wonderful trade opportunity for our counterparts in Iran in import of crude oil, fertilizers, zinc, copper, iron, coal, uranium, manganese and other such industrial metals”, he said.

The annual bilateral trade between India and Iran is currently estimated at about USD 15 billion and is heavily in favour of Iran which exports mainly oil, worth over USD 12 billion and imports goods worth a meagre USD 2.5 billion from India.

India is walking a diplomatic tightrope as it pursues good ties Iran and deepens relations with the US.

“We would urge our counterparts in Iran to invest in India’s burgeoning real estate sector. Besides, we would also pitch for a liberal multi-entry business visa regime, more direct flights, organising trade fairs and exhibitions at regular intervals as it could spur the bilateral trade by at least USD 10 billion in near future,” he said.

The Gulf nation, which accounts for about 12 per cent of India?s energy needs, offers huge opportunities for Indian industries in road construction, railway networks, port infrastructure, information technology, readymade garments and medical equipment, Assocahm said.

The delegation comprises of industrialists representing a range of sectors from wheat, rice, tea, coffee, agriculture food for animals, auto components, automobiles, minerals and mining and pharmaceuticals.