Kenya is Iran's gateway to the African market: Iran envoy
Iran’s ambassador to Kenya says the East African nation can be a gateway for Iranian products to the continent due to its good economic infrastructure and proximity to the Middle East.
Iran’s envoy, Jafar Barmaki, made the remarks as a delegation of Kenyan business leaders in the field of agricultural and food industries visited Iran.
The delegation comes as the two nations seek to increase bilateral trade and to create a platform for the exchange of knowledge-based products
“In addition to East African countries, Kenya has trade relations with 22 other African nations, and Iran’s presence in the Kenyan market allows Tehran to have extensive trade ties with other African countries, Barmaki said.
“Kenya has a better infrastructure than other African countries, so most countries try to access the continent’s markets through this country,” he added.
He urged Iranian companies to establish trade ties with Kenya but to first consult with trade experts to minimize unexpected problems and avoid financial loss.
Iran plans to make use of government agencies, private sector and international institutions to expand with trade with Africa.
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 trade data.
Experts say trade and economic cooperation between Iran and African nations are far less than the capacities and mutual interests of the two sides.
They 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.