How can Africa and Iran increase trade?
Trade and economic cooperation between Iran and African nations are far less than the capacities and mutual interests of the two sides.
Experts say the main obstacles for trade between Iran and Africa is the lack of direct sea and air transportation infrastructures, high marketing and transportation costs.
Other reasons are a lack of banking relations, lack of information on mutual demands and capabilities and lack of political and economic stability.
Iran accounted for just 0.12% of Africa’s total trade with the world last year, Fars News Agency reported.
Iran exported $642 million worth of commodities to Africa from 2018 to 2019, and imported goods worth $16 million from Africa in return, according to Director General of Trade Promotion Organization of Iran's Arab-African Office Masoud Kamali Ardakani.
Ardakani said Iran has embassies in 25 African countries and commercial attaches in Kenya, South Africa, Algeria, Tunisia and Nigeria.
Iran mainly exports butane, bitumen, steel, vaseline, urea, clinker, cement, iron ingot and hydrocarbons to Africa. It mainly imports oranges, phosphate, fish, tobacco, legumes, steel sheets, tea and cocoa beans from Africa.
Iran’s major export destinations in the African continent included Egypt, Sudan, Kenya, South Africa, Tanzania, Djibouti, Mozambique, Morocco, Nigeria, Somalia, Algeria and Tunisia.
Top African exporters to Iran were South Africa, Egypt, Tunisia, Swaziland, Ghana, Zambia, Seychelles, Kenya, Ethiopia, Morocco, Tanzania and Sudan.