Wednesday, 16 October, 2019

WSJ: European firms seize Iran opportunities

European firms have been flocking to Iran since the nation’s 2015 nuclear accord with world powers, which led to the lifting of a range of sanctions against the Persian Gulf country, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Dozens of development projects and deals have been struck by non-US companies in the past two years as they seek to cash in on a promising market of 80 million people, the report said.

Among those who have entered into potentially lucrative deals in Iran are French carmakers Peugeot and Renault and Anglo-Dutch oil giant Royal Dutch Shell, it said.

Among other initiatives, the UK’s Vodafone Group is teaming up with an Iranian firm to build up network infrastructure, while Germany’s Siemens has entered into agreements for large projects.

Meanwhile, US companies are noticeably absent in the Iran rush, the paper noted.

Ford Motor and General Motors are among those that have steered clear of Iran despite the nuclear accord.

A Ford spokeswoman told the Journal that the company was complying with US law and didn’t have any business with Iran.

GM, meanwhile, said it is focusing “on other markets, and other opportunities”.

Apple Inc. is said to have explored entering Iran after the Obama administration allowed the export of personal-communications devices in 2013.

But the company decided against it because of banking and legal problems, the Journal said, citing sources.

Boeing is among the few American firms that have had some success with Iran, as the company last year received the go-ahead to sell 80 aircraft valued at US$16.6 billion to the Islamic Republic.

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