cooperation Brussels, Sept 10, IRNA -- Representatives of the Tehran-based "Iran ands Belgium Chamber of Commerce and Industries" (IBCCI) held five days of meetings with Belgian businessmen in Brussels this week to promote trade and commercial cooperation between Belgium and Iran.
"We are here in Belgium to promote contacts between the Iranian and Belgian private sectors and to develop business with our Belgian partners," Vali Assadi, President of the Chamber, told IRNA.
He noted that the annual trade exchanges between the two countries are estimated at 350 million euro. The figure does not include Iranian oil sales to Belgium.
Belgium occupies the seventh place among the countries exporting to Iran, while the Islamic Republic is the second biggest oil and gas supplier to Belgium.
Assadi said there was growing interest in the Belgian business community to invest in Iran.
"We have met a lot of contractors and industrial groups who would like to invest in Iran."
The Iranian delegation which included representatives from the agricultural, industrial, pharmaceutical, electrical, poultry, consulting and freight sectors met their counterparts from the Northern Flanders and the southern Wallonia regions of Belgium.
Halima Amrani, coordinator for Middle East and North Africa at the Walloon Export Agency (AWEX) in Brussels, said it was IBCCI's second mission to Belgium this year.
''The scope I think of trade between Belgium and Iran will be very positive,'' she told IRNA.
"We here at AWEX want to increase our exports to Iran, because we believe that Iran is in a very, very favourable economic construction so we have to really take steps to go forward and establish close links with the Iranian market," added Halima.
Jacques Lambert, Economic and Commercial Attache for the French-speaking Wallonia region at the Belgian embassy in Tehran, said both the Flanders and Wallonia regions "consider Iran as a priority market."
The Belgian embassy in Tehran also has a commercial attache from the Flemish-speaking Flanders region.
Lambert said Belgian firms were mostly exporting industrial machinery and chemical products to Iran.
He said Iran is developing a lot its industrial sector because it has the financing possibilities from the oil income.
"They are very strong in cement, they are very strong in steel," he told IRNA noting that a Belgian company had supplied the new galvanization and painting line to the Mobarakeh steel industry.
Lambert said that the Wallonia region is importing some carpets, plastics and petrochemicals from Iran, but added that "we export eight to nine times more than what we import from Iran."
Iran imports about 41 million euro worth of goods from Wallonia.
The IBCCI concluded its visit to Belgium by holding a one-day seminar on ''commercial information on the Iranian market'' at the AWEX on Thursday.
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