United Kingdom Export Finance has reintroduced a £50 million ($ 71.2 million) cover to support UK companies seeking to compete for business in Iran, following the lifting of the sanctions against Iran on Saturday.
Francis Maude, UK’s minister for trade and investment, said the UK government fully supports expanding trade with Iran, UK’s Export Credit Agency said in a press release on Sunday.
The United States and European nations lifted oil and financial sanctions on Iran and released billions of dollars of its assets after international inspectors concluded that the country had followed through on promises to dismantle large sections of its nuclear program.
“We would encourage UK businesses to take advantage of the commercial opportunities that will arise from sanctions relief,” he said.
UKTI now has a presence on the ground to support trade between the two countries, Maude added.
“UK Trade and Investment and UK Export Finance will be leading the government approach to engage with UK companies to ensure that we are well equipped to benefit from increased trade with Iran as the country re-establishes itself within the international business community.”
To improve UK-Iran trade, UKEF will work directly with the Export Guarantee Fund of Iran and the Iranian Ministry of Economic Affairs and Finance.
The cover is now available on a case-by-case basis in pounds sterling and euros, to guarantee payments to UK professional advisory service providers advising the government of Iran. This can cover advice on areas such as: accounting standards; capital market development; compliance with global regulatory requirements; accessing and reducing the cost of financing; and facilitating new trade.
UKEF will also consider applications for direct lending to purchasers of British exports to Iran, Financial Tribune reported.
Previously, the UK had between £400-500 million ($600-700 million) in direct exports, and about as much in indirect exports.
Iran imported $614 million worth of goods from Britain during the past Iranian year (ended March 20, 2015), while it exported commodities worth $72 million, according to data provided by Iran’s Customs Organization. The imports mostly included medicine, medical equipment and grains, while the main exports were steel and iron products, hand-woven carpet, saffron, date and raisins.