News ID: 204219
Published: 1216 GMT November 12, 2017

Hogan: EU-Iran 2017 deals worth €10b

Hogan: EU-Iran 2017 deals worth €10b

Iran and the European Union signed agreements worth €10 billion this year, announced the EU commissioner for agriculture and rural development.

Phil Hogan pointed to the current engagement between the EU and Iran and said that there is a positive view about the future of relations and further enhancement of ties, reported IRNA.

The union wants to encourage the US Congress to accept that the Iran nuclear deal, known also as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), was the best approach, he said.

"We want to develop and deepen our cooperation with Iran, including our agricultural ties," the EU commissioner added.

The conditions in Iran are unique and Europe is looking forward to witnessing further advancements in the country by facilitating cooperation.

Hogan, who is leading a 70-member delegation from 19 European countries to Iran, said that food trade between Iran and the EU has witnessed a 94-percent growth since July 2015.

Iran-EU cooperation will thrive, said Hogan in a joint press conference with Iran's Minister of Agriculture Mahmoud Hojjati on Saturday, adding that the EU is determined to continue economic interactions with Iran within the framework of JCPOA and the current mission hopes to increase bilateral ties to the benefit of both sides.

The official is accompanied by representatives of 40 European businesses who are willing to expand cooperation throughout the production chain in the fields of dairy, meat, vegetables, chocolate, oilseeds and livestock feed.

Earlier on Saturday, a memorandum of understanding on the joint production of corn and sorghum seeds was signed between the Iranian and French sides, in a ceremony attended by Hogan and Hojjati.

The two sides also studied the possibilities of exporting pistachio, saffron, ostriches, trout, and horses from Iran to the EU and importing plant seeds, cow and sheep meat, dairy, powdered milk, olive oil and off-season fruit from the EU in return.

Hogan said problems in banking relations and credit lines are hindrances to the expansion of economic ties, which need to be eliminated. He announced EU's readiness to assist Iran's agriculture sector in research and employment of innovative methods.

Kaveh Zargaran, the secretary of Iran's Foodstuff Industries Association says talks with the EU Agriculture and Rural Development Commission began around eight months ago and preliminary agreements have been reached.

Zargaran noted that trade in foodstuff and beverages between Iran and the EU decreased by 18 percent during the seven months to October 22. The official believes that the lack of banking and financial interactions imposes heavy expenses on Iranian businesspeople dealing with the Europeans.

According to Mohammad Ali Tahmasebi, the horticultural deputy of the Agriculture Ministry, production of seeds and modified saplings, livestock and poultry, agro machinery and feeds, pressurized irrigation, expansion of greenhouses, cold storages and organic production are areas in which Iran is willing to attract investment from European companies.

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