Iran, Africa trade surpasses $180 m despite unprecendented US sanctions
The spokesman for Iran's customs has stated that the overall revenue of Iran's trade with the African continent in the past seven months is 180,432,161 US$.
Ruhollah Latifi, the Spokesman for the Iranian Customs, announced on Tuesday that the Islamic Republic of Iran has engaged in trade with 27 African countries in the past seven months, commenting that "This volume of trading in spite of harsh US sanctions and amidst the global outbreak of the Coronavirus.
With 54 countries, Africa is the second largest continent in the entire world, with a population of 1.3 billion compared to the global average. It is, therefore, one of the world's greatest potential future markets.
However, reasons such as lack of awareness of African markets, inadequate economic and trade infrastructure and relative political instability in some African countries and the lack of proper trade infrastructure have made it somewhat difficult to fully utilize the potentials and capacities available in the African market.
In 2018, Africa's exports to the world were about $ 497 billion and its imports were about $ 547 billion, which is less than 3% of world trade.
Africa's main exports are crude oil and its products, gold, gas, hydrocarbons and diamonds, and the continent's most important imports are crude oil and its products, motor vehicles, telephones, mobile phones, medicine and wheat.
The market of African countries has a good export potential for the Islamic Republic of Iran and can be used to export (among other things) goods such as home appliances, construction supplies such as doors and windows, pipes and valves, cement, stone, as well as agricultural machinery and even food such as tomato paste, sweets and chocolate.
With the above-mentioned significant trade revenue numbers, it seems like both Africa and the Islamic Republic of Iran are fully aware of the many opportunities that trade can bring about for both sides, and are wisely capitalizing on this great opportunity to cooperate even amid very harsh, unprecedented US sanctions.