Trade between the European Union and Iran continued to flourish in the first six month of 2003, with Iranian exports up by 28 percent and imports by 17 percent compared with the same period last year, IRNA reported from London.
Figures obtained exclusively by IRNA from Eurostat showed that Iranian exports to the world's biggest trading bloc grew to Eur 3.3 billion (Dlrs 3.8 bn) in the first half of this year, up from Eur 2.6 bn in the first six months of 2002.
EU exports to Iran also grew from Eur 3.7 bn to Eur 4.3 bn over the same period. If the trend continues the value of this year's trade is likely to exceed last year's total of Eur 13.6 bn by at least Eur 1.6 bn to its highest ever level.
The increase in Iranian exports was dominated by the rise in EU oil imports. It was continued to be led by Italy, Iran's biggest market, whose imports from Iran reached Eur 935 million, up Eur 19 million on the first half of 2002.
The rise was also highlighted by a Eur 162 m increase to Eur 488 m in purchases by the Netherlands, home of the Rotterdam oil spot market. But there was an even bigger increase of Eur 188 m to Eur 479 m in exports to Spain.
The continuing growth in EU exports was led by Iran's three largest suppliers, Germany, Italy and France, whose sales together totalled nearly Eur 3 bn.
Figures from Eurostat show that while Spain consolidated itself as Iran's fourth biggest trading partner, it is now being run close by Sweden's performance of nearly doubling exports to Eur 228 m and increasing imports by over 160 percent to Eur 387 m.
... Payvand News - 11/06/03 ... --