A business delegation to Iran led by the Norwegian Seafood Council and Innovation Norway explores new opportunities in Iran after the lifting of sanctions.
Iran is the second largest market in the Middle East and Africa, with a population of more than 80 million and great potential for development in several business areas. This week the Seafood Council and Innovation Norway brought companies from seafood and aquaculture to the country, accompanying the Minister of Fisheries, Per Sandberg.
Mr. Sandberg has held political talks with several representatives of the Iranian government, while the business delegation met its Iranian counterparts. Through visits to an importer of fresh Norwegian salmon and Iran’s largest inland trout farm, the delegates gained first-hand knowledge of the activities, opportunities and challenges in Iran.
The business forum continues Thursday the 29th of September with seminars and separate sessions for participants from aquaculture and seafood. The aim is to exchange information that can lead to concrete projects and increased cooperation. (Picture 3: Director of Sustainability, Inger Solberg, opened the plenary session.)
The Minister of Fisheries, Per Sandberg, spoke about how he finds clear differences and surprising similarities between Norway and Iran. – This, his says, means that there is a great potential for increased cooperation and business exchange between our countries. I believe Norwegian companies can contribute greatly to technological solutions and increased sustainability in Iranian seafood production, said Mr. Sandberg. (Picture 4: Per Sandberg speaking at the opening of the business forum.)
Iran already maintains a healthy seafood and aquaculture industry as well as fisheries both inland, in the Caspian Ocean and in the Persian Gulf. Most of the activity is what we would consider low-tech, which means that the potential for improvement is great. That again represents opportunities for Norwegian companies in all areas of business – from water and waste treatment to hatching, all the way through to quality control and cooling systems. Several Norwegian companies already work with Iranian partners, but there’s clearly room for more. In addition, it is very clear from the meetings during the visit that the Iranian companies view their Norwegian counterparts as very attractive partners for business.
The business delegation finishes on Friday with a visit to fish outlets in Teheran. As Innovation Norway does not currently have an office in Iran, our work in the market is carried out in close cooperation with the Norwegian embassy in Teheran.
By Kjetil Svorkmo Bergmann, senior communication advisor, Innovation Norway