Sanctions removal offers huge untapped potential for Denmark–Iran trade: Danny Annan
9/3/2016

“For many years, promotion of exports to Iran was limited for Danish companies due to the sanctions, but after the lifting of sanctions I do my utmost to assist the Danish companies in gaining a foothold in the Iranian market,” the ambassador stressed.

“If you look at the different sectors [in which Denmark has export to Iran], you can already see the very big increase. One of the very sectors is pharmaceutical sector, because it was not hit by the sanctions. Of course there was the problem with the financial transactions, but still medical companies somehow succeeded in gaining a very good foothold when it comes to the Iranian market,” Annan explained.

“54 percent of Danish export [to Iran] is actually with the pharmaceutical sector, but if you look at the other sectors, renewable energy as a very good and recent example, I believe that there are very good opportunities in Iran”, he said, adding, “And in the food industry, also ingredients for the food industry, machinery for the food industry.”

“I think there are a lot of sections, actually a perfect match between the competency of the Danish companies and the needs of Iranian market,” the ambassador commented.

“We’re also talking about the Iranian companies receiving the Danish machinery and ingredients, because they [Danish companies] are increasing their quality, they’re increasing productivity to the benefit of market situation in Iran, but also on the export market. I’ve met a lot of Iranian companies and they all stressed to me that they have export to Afghanistan, CIS countries, Iraq, Turkey. Honestly, I think that machinery and ingredients from Denmark is actually giving a pivotal role when it comes to that success of Iranian companies,” Annan also opined.

‘Renewable energy main sector for co-op’

The ambassador mentioned renewable energy as the main field in which Iran and Denmark can cooperate.

He said, “Danish companies have a lot of different interests when it comes to the Iranian market. Mining, cement, dairy sector in which Denmark is very strong, we have very good cooperation with the Iranian leading companies in the dairy sector including Pegah, Kaleh, Mihan. And renewable energy, I think that is one of the untapped potentials when it comes to trade between Denmark and Iran.”

“So far, Iran has only 200,000 megawatt installed of renewable energy of windmills and the plan is actually to install 5,000 megawatts. That would be the equivalent of what we have in Denmark. The plan is to install it over only a five-year period. So it of course creates some opportunities for Danish companies in that sector. But it also creates I believe fantastic opportunities for Iran, because if more energy can be generated from renewable energy source, Iran can export more gas and oil. I know the importance of oil and gas for Iranian economy. So, it will be a cleaner environment and increased export income for Iran and so it’s again a mutual benefit,” Annan further commented.

“As I told previously, I do really believe that there is a perfect match and mutual benefit when it comes to trade between Denmark and Iran,” he stressed.

“Iran, an island of stability in region’

Elsewhere in his remarks the Danish ambassador said, “I consider Iran to be an island of stability in a very unstable region and that is of course something that the private companies look for. They don’t want to invest in countries, when they risk their investment would be lost in one year or five years standing in the road. So, a lot of companies consider Iran as a very stable country, but not only for the Iranian market but also as a foothold for export to neighboring countries.”

He went on to say, “We don’t have yet a lot of companies who are established here and then use Iran as a hub for export. At least what I see Danish companies are exporting to the Iranian companies and then they re-export their processed products to the neighboring countries.”

Asking about the condition of Danish companies in the competitive post-sanction Iranian market, the ambassador replied, “I believe that it is very important with long-term contacts. Maybe new competitors are entering the Iranian market, but if I was an Iranian businessman, I would definitely stick to the partners I have successfully worked with over the last many years.”

By Mahnaz Abdi/MG

(Source: Tehran Times)