Iran’s historic deal opens new doors for Portugal’s business fraternity

Now that economic sanctions have been lifted in Iran following the historic deal to limit nuclear activity, Portuguese companies are hoping the country will become a ‘land of opportunity’ for them.

“It is an extraordinary market, especially at a time when Europe is facing a crisis and countries need to diversify the markets they are exporting to,” Nader Haghighi, head of the Iran-Portugal Business Council, told Diário Económico.

The Iranian-Portuguese businessman says he has already accompanied “over 100 Portuguese companies” to Iran and that their reactions were always “filled with enthusiasm”.

However, he said, Iran’s economic sanctions always kept business to a minimum.

Portugal’s CGC Genetics was one of the few to establish partnerships following a business trip to the country in 2009.

But since sanctions have been lifted, many more companies have shown they are excited about doing business with Iran.

“I have been contacted by a number who want to schedule meetings in order to travel to Iran and see what opportunities there are,” Haghighi said.

“Green economy, renewable energies, waste management, the food industry, forest products, wood and cork, information technologies and construction” are some of the sectors that might interest Portuguese companies, he added.

Meantime, business association AEP has confirmed it will be taking part in a construction fair in Tehran in May 2016.

“Businesspeople always felt the environment (in Iran) was favourable but that there were financial difficulties that affected people’s confidence in the market,” AEP’s president Paulo Almeida explained, agreeing that the nuclear deal will allow “the revival of confidence and credibility”.