A day before the Iranian trade conference in London, Maurice Button, chief executive of ‘City and Financial Global Ltd’ says that Iran is an important trading partner to UK for Post Brexit environment.
In an interview with IRNA in London on the sidelines of the conference called ‘New Prospects for British-Iranian Trade & Investment’, and expounding on the purpose and initiative of hosting the conference, the British businessman said after easing of sanctions, there has been a great deal of interest and appetite from British companies to understand more.
Clearly it is not a simple business proposition and requires a degree of knowledge.
Many of the companies do not have access to that type of knowledge, they don’t understand how they should position themselves to take advantage of the opportunities that Iran opening up provides.
Therefore, this conference serves that purpose. Hopefully, it would provide sufficient information for UK companies so that they can position themselves and do business in and with Iran.’
On his opinion about the current trade relationship between Iran and UK, Button said, ‘I think it is very early days. Progress perhaps, some people might fear it is slightly slow than they would have wished, certainly for companies that are willing to export to Iran and need trade finance from banks may find that a bit challenging at the moment.
There are some banks who are active in this area but that part of the process perhaps is slowing things a little bit.
In many companies, they feel they must move forward as quickly as they can irrespective of not having the full picture.
We hope this conference will serve precisely that purpose and it will provide companies with the sets of information that they need in order to move forward; they would get a far better perspective both from the British government of what it is trying to do and from companies who will be speaking at the conference and attending who are already doing business with Iran.
Hopefully through this experience it could speed the process up. From the business community point of view this event is very much welcomed and there is a great deal of interest.’
On the achievement of a previous similar event, the British businessman said,’What we do know is that people who attended that event found it very helpful and it gave them some the critical information they needed ni order to speed up what they were trying to do in relation to Iran.’
To a question about what British business community can make of Brexit and what this conference could layout, Button said, ‘UK is looking to develop strong trading relationship with many countries outside of the EU. I think it is very clear from the fact that secretary of state is speaking at this event that Iran is regarded as an important country with whom we would like to do business.
I think the fact that the secretary of state is speaking at this event is a clear evidence that Iran is an important trading partner for the UK in the Post Brexit environment.’
Commenting on his future prospect of holding similar events to promote trade with Iran, Button said, ‘We will continue to hold events for British companies within the UK. We hope next year to hold events in Tehran, looking at specific sectors.
One of the sectors we are quite interested at the moment is looking at renewable energy we are going to explore that is one of the earliest sectors for an event within Tehran to which we hope British companies will come.
I think the natural next stage is for the British companies to visit the country themselves. There is only so much that you can do from a conference here in London, whereas if the British companies go to Tehran, and attend in depth seminars and meet potential partners in Tehran that is an ideal next step.’
On any timescale as to when to host a programme in Tehran would be, the British businessman said,’ I think it will be in the first and second quarter of the next year.
We believe that the prospect for trade and doing business with Iran are highly significant.
We know that there are many British companies that are very much looking forward to attending this event and developing business relationship with Iran’