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Iran eyes increased presence in West Africa markets: Minister

Iran's trade minister Reza Fatemi Amin

Iran eyes increased presence in markets in West Africa as the country plans to sign nearly $2 billion worth of trade contracts and memoranda of understanding (MoUs) with countries in the region.

Trade minister Reza Fatemi Amin said on Monday that Iranian mining and metals companies have a good opportunity to invest in projects in West Africa.

“Countries in West Africa have good potentials in mines ... which can be used to expand economic and trade ties between Iran and the region,” said Fatemi Amin while addressing a conference held in Tehran to boost scientific and economic cooperation between Iran and West Africa.

Some 50 political and business delegates from 10 countries in West Africa are in Tehran to explore opportunities for increased trade with Iran, said the minister.

He added that some $850 million worth of contracts and around $1 billion worth of MoUs will be signed during the ongoing forum in Tehran.

Fatemi Amin said Iran’s exports to Africa had doubled in 2022, adding that increased presence in the African markets has become a focus of Iran’s trade policies in recent years.

Iran has introduced extensive measures to expand foreign trade since 2018 when its crude oil exports came under American sanctions.

The policy had led to increased hard currency revenues for the country while enabling the government to diversify the Iranian economy away from oil.

Figures by Iran’s customs office released last month showed that non-oil exports from the country had risen by 12.22% year on year in the 11 calendar months to late February to reach $48.8 billion.

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