Deals landed in Iran are described

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Deals landed in Iran are described

After a three-day trip to Iran, a Korean business delegation returned with new opportunities in sectors ranging from electricity infrastructure to finance.

“With the visit of President Park Geun-hye, I am seeing many large business contracts between the two nations, and I hope the relationship can last a long time based on mutual trust,” Iranian Trade Minister Mohammad Nematzadeh said at a business forum held Tuesday in Tehran.

The forum was hosted by the Korea International Trade Association and Korea Trade-Investment Promotion Agency with the Iran Chamber of Commerce, Industries, Mines and Agriculture. Over 250 representatives of Korean companies and government officials attended the forum.

The Korea Electric Power Corporation (Kepco) opened an office in Tehran on Tuesday with a visit by Kepco CEO Cho Hwan-eik, one of the 236 delegates on the mission.

Kepco signed 10 business agreements, including four major electricity infrastructure projects, with Iranian counterparts such as the Iran Power Generation and Transmission Company.

One of the four major projects is to expand the capacity of Iran’s electrical grid to 765 kilovolts. This will enhance the overall performance of the Iranian electrical grid. If Iran decides to install the new network, Kepco will participate in a $5 billion extra-high-voltage electrical grid construction project.

Another major project is the introduction of an advanced metering infrastructure, which enables users real-time monitoring of electricity use.

Iranian seaways and airways will also be opened up for business.

The Korea Shipowners’ Association and Shipping Association of Iran signed a memorandum of understanding to form a task force to expand direct shipping lines between Asia and the Middle East. Member companies of the associations will form an alliance.

“We expect the transport of goods between Korea and Iran to rapidly increase,” the Korean association said in a statement on Tuesday.

Incheon International Airport signed a memorandum of understanding with Tehran Imam Khomeini International Airport, the gateway to Iran, on Tuesday. The two are expected to send delegations on a regular basis to share information on airport operations, aircraft management, development of surrounding infrastructure and co-marketing projects.

Mahmoud Navidi, managing director of Imam Khomeini Airport City Company, will visit Korea early next month to discuss detailed terms.

Woori Bank launched a Tehran office on Monday. It is the first Korean bank to set up its office in Iran. After economic sanctions on Iran were lifted in January, Woori Bank sent experts to research the Iranian market and attained approval from the Central Bank of Iran on April 12 to open an office in Tehran.

The Tehran office is not capable of banking operations. The office will collect market information and connect already established branches of Woori Bank in the Middle East in Dubai, the United Arab Emirates, and Bahrain.

The bank also signed a business partnership with Pasargad, the second-largest bank in Iran, to boost Korea-Iran trade, share information about local markets and provide financial services.


BY KIM JEE-HEE [kim.jeehee@joongang.co.kr]

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