Opportunities for Cooperation
“Korea has held more than 60 conferences aimed at introducing the capacities
of Iranian and Korean enterprises, especially at the SME level,” Ryu Jeong-Hyun
The first Iran-Korea forum on economic opportunities focused on cooperation
between the two countries’ small and medium enterprises (SMEs).
Pedram Soltani, vice president of the Iranian Chamber of Commerce,
Industries, Mines and Agriculture (ICCIMA) said at the event that the SMEs
network of Iran and South Korea could cooperate and become more active under
He added that Iran has paid dearly because of the sanctions, but in the
meantime it has learned how to handle the challenges in the international
Referring to the forthcoming international dispute in the next decades, he
said: “In this area, various countries are seeking to increase their share
of global trade. Obviously, it is now the turn of emerging countries to
increase their share from the Globalization Cake, and this is the reason why
developed countries such as the United States are not interested in the
subject of globalization.”
Soltani said that in such difficult economic times, the government should
adopt supportive policies and strengthen the capillary network that has been
formed globally between Iran and other countries.
Stressing the interest of Iran’s private sector to continue its business
cooperation with its Korean counterpart, he noted: “South Korea’s economy
began its course of development 50 years ago and has successfully overcome
the barriers. Korea has become a developed and industrialized country in the
“South Korea’s economy began its course of development 50 years ago and has
successfully overcome the barriers,” Soltani said.
Soltani described Korea’s economy as a good model for policy makers and the
private sector in Iran.
Referring to the hard times the Iranian economy is leaving behind, he said
the current US government’s approach towards Iran is not only a threat to
the Iranian economy but can also be a serious warning to the world, because
if a large economy uses its capability as a weapon against other countries,
it will pose a serious threat to the stability of the global economy.
He added that the US, as the founder of globalization and the promoter of
trade facilitation in the world, is now taking an opposite direction. For
this reason, the measures being taken by the European countries that signed
the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) were not just in Iran’s
interest but are also of great importance for themselves, he reiterated.
The ICCIMA official described as a turning point the agreement between
Germany and France to devise new financial mechanisms to counter renewed US
sanctions against Iran. He expressed hope that this could help solve the
Hossein Tanhaei, chairman of the Joint Iran-South Korea Chamber of Commerce,
referring to the statistics released by the Islamic Republic of Iran Customs
Administration on the volume of trade between the two countries, told the
forum: “In 2017, Iran’s exports to South Korea amounted to $8 billion but
the figure has dropped to $ 3.7 billion in 2018. Also, Iran’s imports from
South Korea in 2017 were $4 billion, but have decreased to $2 billion this
“We must prepare the ground to introduce Iran and its economic and trade
capacities to the Koreans with the help of tourism industry,” Tanhaei said.
He added that most of Iran’s imports from South Korea are consumer goods,
while Iran exported intermediate goods and minerals to that country.
Tanhaei viewed that the Iranian people are closely familiar with the quality
and variety of Korean products. “But the South Koreans do not know Iranian
goods. Therefore, we must prepare the ground to introduce Iran and its
economic and trade capacities to the Koreans with the help of tourism
Also addressing the forum was South Korean Ambassador to Iran Ryu Jeong-Hyun
who thanked the Iranian and Korean economic activists for their
participation in the forum. He said: “Iran and Korea have long sought to
find solutions to the challenges and problems economic activists have been
facing in various junctures.”
He added that his government’s approach towards Iran has always been
multilateral and positive in order to increase the level of economic
relations between Tehran and Seoul beyond the intended framework.
The ambassador noted: “Iran, with a population of 82 million is 8.5 times
bigger than South Korea in size with a favorable geographic location and is
considered one of the most important target countries in the Middle East.
“Trade with Iran has been mainly in the field of oil and household
appliances, but we are planning to extend this level of relationship to a
wide range of areas, including science, culture and joint research.”
Referring to the efforts of his embassy to develop cooperative partnerships,
he added: “Since 2016, the Embassy of the Republic of Korea has held more
than 60 conferences aimed at introducing the capacities of Iranian and
Korean enterprises, especially at the SME level. We expect the holding of
such conferences will help maintain ties between the two countries. As the
media have announced, Korea has outlined the framework of its cooperation
with Iran during the sanctions period, and now it has been exempted from
punishment as a result of trade with Iran under the US sanctions.