Iran, Finland Trade Can Rise Tenfold
and Helsinki can boost cooperation in several
including energy, transport, environment and agriculture,”
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
“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
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
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
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.
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
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.