Iran's exports to Africa fall 14%. Why Iranian goods have small market in Africa?
The export of Iranian products to Africa last year was about 2.4 million tons, equivalent to $578 million, a decrease of 14% in terms of value and 8% in terms of weight compared to the previous year, trade data shows.
The statistics were revealed by Farzad Pilten, the head of the Arab-African Office of Iran’s Trade Development Organization.
He said there was a 14% decrease in the value of exports to Africa during the Iranian calendar year of 1399 compared to 1398.
The trade official said Ghana, Algeria, Kenya, South Africa, Somalia, Tanzania, Cameroon, Mozambique, Nigeria and Ivory Coast were the top African importers from Iran.
Pilten said that although trade between Iran and the continent has decreased compared to the same period last year, Iranian products have been able to maintain their presence in Africa despite the escalation of US sanction and the outbreak of the coronavirus.
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.
“From the Iranian side, there is a lack of accurate knowledge of African markets, difficulties in financing the high marketing costs, the absence of long-term trade policies with African countries and the lack of proper infrastructure such as banking and transportation, are among the most important obstacles,” Pilten said.
Iran’s National Development Fund (NDF) has opened a €200 million credit line for expanding exports of Iranian commodities and services to African countries.
The fund has been allocated as part of a $2-billion support package which has been allocated by NDF for developing the country’s non-oil exports, said Farzad Piltan, a senior official in Iran’s Trade Promotion Organization.