The mission to Iran’s capital Tehran is Ireland’s first since trade restrictions on the Iran were lifted by the US, following its compliance with the United Nations on a nuclear weapons deal in January 2016.
Government officials from Ireland’s Department of Agriculture are also scheduled to stop off in Turkey’s capital, Ankara, as well as Morocco and Algeria to carve open these markets for live cattle exports.
Iran’s economy is expected to grow by around 2% annually as it enjoys the benefits of a post-sanction economy which enables it to trade freely with the global market. Lifting of the trade sanctions also presents a unique opportunity for Ireland’s food exporters to tap into the Middle East’s second-largest economy, Bord Bia said on Friday 22 April.
Iran’s strong economy
“The lifting of international sanctions on Iran opens the way for Irish food exporters to explore trading opportunities in the second largest economy in the Middle East,” said Aidan Cotter, chief executive of Bord Bia, commenting on the visit to Iran.
“As the economy grows and demand for premium food products outstrips domestic supply, Iran is looking to countries like Ireland to supply high quality, safe and sustainably-produced food”.
Despite sanctions being in place since 1979 following the Iranian Revolution, food exports were excepted from the sanctions. But the country’s dwindling foreign currency reserves and economic contraction made international trade with Iran difficult.
Beef trade with Turkey
“Trade missions are an important element of our agri-food strategy as we seek to diversify the number of available markets for Irish exporters of food and agri-services,” said Simon Coveney, Ireland’s Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine.
“This mission will be key to reintroducing Irish companies to the Iranian market and buyers and will no doubt pave the way for greater collaboration with Irish exporters. Officials from my department will also take the opportunity to visit Ankara for discussions with Turkish counterparts where we are seeking to advance the market access approval for live exports of Irish cattle, amongst other things.”