India sees business opportunity in Iran after US, EU sanctions

  • With the US and Europe imposing sanctions on Iran, India sees an opportunity to boost its trade with it by tapping the sectors which would be affected by the restrictions imposed by the West.
  • In this context, a large Indian business delegation will be visiting Iran by the month-end to explore business opportunities.
  • "We will be mounting a mission to Iran at the end of the month to promote our own exports. A huge delegation will be going," Commerce Secretary Rahul Khullar told reporters Thursday.
  • He did not elaborate but sources said huge business opportunities have opened up in Iran after the US and Europe recently imposed sanctions on Iran over its controversial nuclear programme.
  • The delegation will include government officials and representatives from trade and industry.
  • India, which is heavily dependent on oil from Iran, maintains that it will implement only those sanctions which are imposed by the United Nations and not those imposed by individual nations or groupings.
  • India believes that huge export opportunities are available in sectors like food that include tea, wheat and rice; pharmaceutical; iron and steel and infrastructure projects.
  • The sources said there are any number of items which can be exported by India to Iran, which has already been under sanctions for several years.
  • The sources made it clear that the sanctions imposed by the UN do not cover the export of a vast range of products which India can export.
  • Bilateral trade between India and Iran is around USD 13.6 billion, of which Indian export is merely USD 2.74 billion. The main item of trade is oil which accounts for 12 percent of India's total oil imports from Iran.
  • Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee, during his visit to the US recently, underlined that India will not scale down its petroleum imports from Iran despite the sanctions by the US and Europe.
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