Iran to strike deals for planes, cars in Europe

Business Monday 25/January/2016 18:54 PM
By: Times News Service
Iran to strike deals for planes, cars in Europe

Tehran: As his country emerges from international isolation, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani was scheduled to arrive in Italy on Monday, the first stop in a European tour where he is expected to sign contracts with companies including Airbus.
Rouhani may sign deals valued at about €17 billion ($18.4 billion) of contracts with Italy, according to an Italian official who asked not to be identified because the information isn’t public. In France, he’s also expected to finalise an accord to buy 114 Airbus jets to upgrade Iran’s ageing fleet and may sign a deal with carmakers Peugeot Citroen and Renault, according to state-run media.
The Islamic Republic is seeking to reap the benefits of its nuclear agreement with world powers in July, which paved the way to the lifting of economic sanctions this month. The step opens the door for Iran to attract investments needed to revive economic growth and lower unemployment. The removal of sanctions may trigger at least $50 billion a year in foreign investment, the country’s central bank governor said in an interview last week.
The trip is Rouhani’s first to the European Union since his election in 2013 on pledges to end sanctions and improve Iran’s ties with the rest of the world. "A red carpet beneath Iran’s feet," Shargh, Iran’s most popular reformist newspaper, ran on its front page.
Tehran policies
The "expansion of ties between Iran and European Union countries is among Tehran’s policies," Rouhani said before departing to Rome, according to the Fars news agency. "We should take advantage of the post-sanctions climate to develop the country and create jobs."
Rouhani is in Rome Monday through Wednesday to speak to a business group. He’ll hold talks with Prime Minister Matteo Renzi and meet Pope Francis on Tuesday in the Vatican.
Oil pipelines
Among the deals he’s expected to sign is a €5 billion contract with Saipem to develop oil pipelines, ‘La Repubblica’ newspaper reported. He travels to Paris on Wednesday for a meeting with President Francois Hollande.
The agreement with Airbus may include the double-decker A380 superjumbo jet as well as the A320 family of aircraft, Iran Air chairman and managing director Farhad Parvaresh said in an interview. The first of the 114 aircraft intended for Iran Air are expected to be delivered before March 21, Mehr news agency reported, citing Minister of Roads and Urban Development Abbas Akhoundi.
Iran Khodro, one of the country’s largest carmakers, reached a preliminary agreement for a 500 million euro joint venture with Peugeot Citroen, the Tasnim news agency reported Sunday, citing an industry official it didn’t identify.