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New export opportunities to Iran

New export opportunities to Iran article image

The federal government will provide $5.3 million over the next four years for the re-opening of its trade office in Iran.

The office, which closed in 2010, will be located within the Australian Embassy in Tehran and operated by Austrade.

It will seek trade opportunities for Australian businesses and foster closer commercial and investment ties.

Trade Minister Steven Ciobo, who announced the re-opening earlier this year, says Iran has significant economic potential for Australian exporters.

“It is a large regional economy with a GDP of around US$400 billion, a population of 80 million people and has some of the world’s largest reserves of oil and gas,” he said.

The government is now confident Iran's nuclear industry is being developed for peaceful purposes and international sanctions were recently lifted.

Australia’s trade with Iran was about $350 million a year under sanctions, and this is expected to rise significantly following the signing of a nuclear deal in January.

Mr Ciobo says the new trade office will support Australian business to capitalise on export and investment opportunities in agriculture, resources, healthcare, education and water management.

Skills training

"The recent lifting of sanctions has created opportunities for Australian business in areas we excel: mining equipment, technology and services sectors and the supply of our agricultural commodities such as barley and wheat," Mr Ciobo said.

"Austrade has also identified opportunities for commercial co-operation in the health and medical and education and skills training sectors."

Iranian universities are seeking greater student mobility and research collaboration with Australian universities. There are currently about 3,500 Iranian students studying in Australia, with about 1,000 new enrolments each year.

Water management is a critical resource issue for Iran and Australia is very well placed to provide policy and research advice in this regard. This industry sector is expected to be a major area of opportunity for Australian technology and service companies.

Support for Australian businesses

Mr Ciobo met with Iranian Foreign Minister H.E. Dr Mohammad Javad Zarif and a delegation in Canberra earlier this year to discuss the re-opening of the trade office.

Austrade is now working, in conjunction with the Department of Foreign Affairs, to ensure Australian businesses are well positioned for the opening up of the Iranian economy.

Austrade will provide support to Australian businesses immediately from its office in Dubai, and will establish a permanent presence within the Australian Embassy in Tehran from the second half of this year.

Austrade officials visited Iran in November last year after a visit by Foreign Minister Julie Bishop, earlier in the year.

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