the Swedish companies are queuing up to establish themselves in Iran. Some of the market’s largest companies are represented at prime minister Stefan Löfvens visit in the country the coming weekend. But a few simple shops, it is not.
Astra Zeneca Sweden-ceo Jan-Olof Jacke want to come home with a finished agreement. Arkivbild.
the pharmaceutical company Astra Zeneca, Sweden-president’s trip to Iran a very concrete goal: To come home with a ready-made agreement that makes it possible to increase exports to Iran.
– We have been there during the whole sanktionstiden. It is a small affair for us in the present, but it is a country with 80 million people and the underserved medical needs, ” says Jan-Olof Jacke.
the First step to scale up the business was taken when he was with minister Gabriel Wikström’s trip to Iran in december, when Astra Zeneca, and iranian medicines agency wrote in a so-called letter of intent. The idea is that the production of certain goods shall take place in Iran, a requirement that authorities set.
the Sanctions against Iran were suspended last winter. But so far Swedish exports have not taken off, the fell rather in 2016.
Magnus Almén is the head of the quasi-public Business Sweden in Iran, as in the days doors open to a newly set-up office in the capital Tehran. The office would have been opened already for half a year ago, but the interest from the companies has been so great that they were forced to look for other premises.
the Value of the exports to Iran have in recent years remained at around two billion a year, compared to 7-8 before the sanctions.
“We hope and believe it can quickly get up in the levels again, or even more,” says Magnus Almén.
All that come with on the trip do not have an equally clear agenda that Jan-Olof Jacke.
” We have no business in Iran at present, and to evaluate what opportunities exist, say for instance, a spokesperson for Volvo Cars.
the Bank SEB, is with for to inform themselves.
” Our task is to support the business. We have a close cooperation with the companies which are our customers, ” says press officer Laurence Westerlund.
There is still no easy country to do business in, ” says Magnus Almén. The biggest challenges related to the financial sector, as it is still affected by the remaining u.s. sanctions, ” he says.
– Iran has opened up, it is still a little hard to get through the transactions in the way that Swedish exporters are accustomed to.
Jan-Olof Jacke in the Astra Zeneca does not expect any immediate effects.
“You may think of this as building a long-term platform,” he says.
Iran is also a country where corruption is widespread.
” For us it is quite simple. We must act with full global ethical principles. We did not feel that there is such a problem, which is preventing us from doing business in Iran, absolutely not, ” says Jacke.
the Facts: Sweden’s exports to Iran
The Swedish exports to Iran have in recent years remained at around sek 2 billion per year. Before the sanctions were the 6-7 billion. Business Sweden, the assessment is that it can increase to 10-12 billion within 5-6 years.
in 2006, the UN security council strict trade sanctions against Iran. The background was that Iran is suspected of enriching uranium in order to manufacture nuclear weapons. The united states and the EUROPEAN union also imposed its own sanctions, which were directed particularly against the country’s energy sector. The majority of the sanctions were lifted a year ago, but u.s. sanctions that affect the ability to financial transactions remain.
Iran’s economy is forecast by the IMF and the world Bank have a growth rate of around 5 percent in the coming years. Inflation has been squeezed down to under 10 per cent, from earlier times has been above 40 percent.
Iran is counted as a very corrupt country by Transparency International. The country came in at number 131 on the organization’s list of levels of corruption, where the worst countries are at the bottom. Sweden is number 4.
Source: Business Sweden, Transparency International, the institute of Foreign affairs
the Facts: the industrial delegation so far
Companies involved in the industrial delegation so far:
• Tetra Pak
• Astra Zeneca
• Danske Bank
• Sandvik materials Group
• the ABB
• Volvo Cars
• the Volvo Group
• the Wallenberg Foundation