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Iran-India gas project in political wing: FICCI

New Delhi, May 7, IRNA-Sources at the Federation Chambers of Commerce and Industries (FICCI) said Iran-India gas pipeline project is now in the political plane. "Given the sensitive nature of the project, nothing concrete could be said now," said Ambika Sharma, an FICCI senior director.

FICCI, however, is optimistic about the increasing volume of trade between India and Iran.

Iran, they said, had expressed desire that New Delhi and Tehran should take mutual interests in participating in each other's trade fair.

Iran has also participated sometime back in a trade exhibition in Mumbai.

Iran-India trade right now covers areas of textiles, power, and pharmaceuticals.

Manjeet Kaur, deputy director of FICCI said Bharat Heavy Electrical Ltd has taken interest in Iran as a destination of investment.

During the first meeting of Iran-India Business Promotion Core Group held on May 17, 2002, it was decided that India could take a lead in drugs and pharmaceuticals, textile sector, auto parts, auto industry.

During his speech during the last visit of India by Iranian Foreign Minister Kamal Kharrazi, Onkar Kanwar, FICCI president, had gone a step further and suggested India-Iran trade and commercial interaction should be extended to biotechnology, nano-technology, and software-driven entertainment.

Manjeet Singh said Iran-India trade ties are of a very different order as it is paid very high priority by both governments.

Both Tehran and New Delhi perceive the trade ties as inseparable from political ties.

Iran has invited the Indian side to set up a new cement plant as well as to participate in the privatization of the existing cement plants in Iran.

Iran also made it known that the bilateral arrangement could also take the projects to third countries.

Singh noted that apart from the Tatas there are twenty other members of the Core Group of Indo-Iranian bilateral trade with deep interest in Iranian economy as a zone of growth.

She said Iran has asked Indian companies to pay more attention to the SMEs (small and medium scale enterprises).

FICCI is also helping grow India's trade and commercial ties with other countries in the region apart from Iran.

Oman, Syria, and even Iraq are the other countries, where the Indian companies are actively pursuing their respective profit targets.

Singh especially mentioned the good work the Indian companies were doing in Iraq.

She said, the Iraqi authorities are keen to involve the Indian companies in the reconstruction process of their country.

"Corporate India is doing a lot of good work under a great deal of risk in Iraq," said Manjeet Singh.

Singh said Iran wants India to get involved in the financial and legal consultancy as well.

... Payvand News - 5/7/05 ... --

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