The Forum for Partners in Iran's Marketplace

January 2017, No. 82

Trade & Business

Iran, Finland Trade Can Rise Tenfold

Tehran and Helsinki can boost cooperation in several fields, including energy, transport, environment and agriculture,” Rouhani Said.

Iran and Finland signed four memorandums of understanding to bolster bilateral relations in a wide range of domains on the margins of a meeting of the two sides’ high-powered delegations in Tehran (Oct. 26).

The meeting was chaired by President Hassan Rouhani and his Finnish counterpart, Sauli Niinisto.

They agreed in the MoUs to expand cooperation in energy, trade, communications technology and forest management sectors, among others.

Rouhani told a joint press conference that Niinisto’s trip to Iran shows the two countries’ strong resolve to deepen ties.

“The visit definitively marks the start of development of bilateral relations and regional and international cooperation between Iran and Finland,” he said.

The president noted that last year’s nuclear pact between Iran and major powers removed obstacles to the improvement of the Islamic Republic’s relations with its European trade partners, including Finland.

The landmark agreement went into force in mid-January to curb Tehran’s nuclear work in return for easing international sanctions.

“Sanctions had held up progress in relations between Tehran and Helsinki,” he said, adding that recent months have witnessed progress in bilateral economic ties.

“The two sides expressed interest in improving tourism relations by establishing direct flights and a rail link,” he said.

Iran and Finland agreed to connect their railways through Azerbaijan, Rouhani stated. “We approved connecting the countries through the railways and we are going to connect Iran to Finland through Baku and Moscow,” he said.

Rouhani added that Tehran and Helsinki can boost cooperation in several fields, including energy, transport, environment and agriculture.

Rouhani said Tehran and Helsinki agreed on measures to quickly revive banking relations. Niinisto said an unprecedented opportunity has arisen after the deal to engage in comprehensive cooperation.

“Mutual visits by Iran and Finland’s [nationals] would be easier in the future, which can give an effective boost to tourism ties,” he said.

The Finnish president added that deeper engagement between Tehran and Helsinki can facilitate closer cooperation between them on regional issues.

Rouhani also said that the capacity of the Iran-EU relations in post-sanctions era also was discussed during the meeting.

“We underlined that after JCPOA (Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action aka nuclear deal) both Iran and the EU are interested in boosting relations in various sectors, including science, technology and trade,” the Iranian president said.

The two parties also expressed interest in expanding cooperation on issues of citizenship rights, human rights, fighting against drug-trafficking, terrorism and extremism, Rouhani said.

He added that Niinisto’s visit would mark a good beginning for expansion of bilateral relations.

Heading a big trade delegation, Niinisto arrived in Tehran on Oct. 25. He was officially welcomed by Rouhani in Saadabad Historical-Cultural Complex on Oct. 26. 

Mining MoU: The Geological Survey of Finland, also known by its Finnish acronym GTK, and the Iranian Mines and Mining Industries Development and Renovation Organization signed a memorandum of understanding in Tehran (Oct. 25) for cooperation in the mining sector.

The MoU was signed by GTK Director General Mika Nykanen and the head of IMIDRO, Mehdi Karbasian during the First International Mineral Processing Activists Symposium (IMPAS 2016).

The agreement stipulates cooperation in mineral exploration, exploitation, workforce training and research on rare earth elements. IMPAS 2016, co-organized by the Iranian Mineral Processing Research Center and IMIDRO, hosted over 300 domestic and foreign experts and industry players from Canada’s Hatch, South Africa’s Mintek and MSA-Group, Germany’s Malgweyn, Finland’s Outotec and Australia’s JKMRC.

GTK, founded in 1885, acts as a provider of geological maps of Finland and other countries, and also operates as a research center. 

Joint Investment, Knowledge-Based Industries: Head of the Trade Promotion Organization (TPO) Mojtaba Khosrowtaj said his Organization wants Iran-Finland cooperation focus on joint investment, knowledge-based industries and development of R&D centers.

Khosrowtaj made the remark in the opening ceremony of a meeting on development of Iran-Finland economic relations (Oct. 26).

Finnish President and Minister of Foreign Trade and Development Kai Mykkanen attended the meeting in Tehran.

“Considering the infrastructures and the investment made in different industrial sectors, we should seek expansion of technical and technological cooperation and joint investment with the Finnish side,” Khosrowtaj said.

Addressing the representatives of 24 Finnish companies in the gathering, Khosrowtaj announced there are plenty of projects in the petrochemical sector, as well as enormous downstream petrochemical projects and plans, for implementation of which the Finnish party can contribute.

He suggested that the Finnish companies may cooperate in providing Iran with related know-how and technology, while giving a hand in the joint venture projects.

He also hailed the ‘positive cooperation’ with the Finnish companies in the fields of clean energies, like wind, solar, geothermal and fossil-thermal power plants (biomass).

Meanwhile, Finland’s foreign trade minister said the volume of his country’s trade with Iran could easily grow ten times.

“We have huge potential for increasing our trade with Iran,” Mykkanen told the Tasnim News Agency.

“(The volume of trade between Iran and Finland) can easily grow tenfold,” he said, adding that the European country’s exports to the Islamic Republic can reach 500 million euros.

During his stay in Tehran, the Finnish president also met with Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani.


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  January 2017
No. 82