‘Hussein Allawi’, Chief Executive of Frontier Exchange stresses that the British firms are willing to enter Iranian market.
Following is the full text interview with Hussein Allawi, Chief Executive of Frontier Exchange and organizer of ‘Roadshow of Iranian Growth Companies’ international conference which is due to be held in London on 28th November:
Q. What have been the objectives of this conference?
A. Our focus is to use the event as a platform and give an opportunity for British businesses, specifically invertors to have an understanding of the state of the Iranian private sector.
There has been lots of conversation on the economy overall; investors know that Iran is very diversified industrially, there are investment opportunity in oil and gas, mining, technology but there has not been much conference that specifically tries to promote Iranian companies.
The other aspect is to give a platform for businesses from Iran to come to London and give presentation about their investments and financial needs, and then give an opportunity to them to meet on one to one bases its British companies.
It will also give the British businesses the tool to help facilitate their market entry. So obviously people know about the Iran’s opportunity but people necessarily don’t know about the circumstances of some of Iran companies , and so they want to have opportunity to know more about those companies, they want to know in content how they could do business in Iran, what are the opportunities by different industries such as oil and Gas, petrochemical
Q. Why are British firms slow in getting business with Iran?
A. Clearly in terms of actual investment is very limited. Sanctions are still having an ongoing effect as well as banking impasse that’s preventing any payments transactions from taking place.
But certainly there is a tremendous interest from the UK point of view to know more about the Iranian companies, export opportunities, how they can actually do business there.
There have been delegations and British companies travelling frequently to Tehran looking to engage with the private sector there.
So people are certainly laying the foundation to do business, once these issues are resolved.
Q. What could be the significance of Donald Trump’s victory in trade relationships with Iran?
A. People are still waiting to see his impact could have on trade relation with Iran.
There has already been quite a significant movement from the Europe side towards establishing strong trade and investment relation with Iran, so I think moving in the other direction would serve the hamper those quite fruitful conversation and commercial relationship that have been established.
So I very much hope that decision would be taken to operate in a pragmatic way which is the interest of European companies and government.
Q. What could be the impact of Brexit on Trade relationship with Iran?
A. Personally I am optimist in terms of commercial relations of the UK following Brexit. I think there is a great opportunity now for the UK to recast itself as an international emerging market centre of financing.
It is very helpful in a way if right steps are taken now to establish those strong commercial relationships both for the UK and Iran.