TEHRAN – Malaysia’s Acting Chargé d’Affaires in Tehran Mohd Nizam Halimi said there are many opportunities to improve and increase trade between Iran and Malaysia.
Making the remarks in an interview with the Tehran Times on the sidelines of a ceremony to celebrate ASEAN Day 2022 in Tehran on Tuesday, he said: “At the moment, trade relations between Malaysia and Iran are very good ; last year, the total trade amount was about six hundred million US dollars.
“Most of the products from Malaysia are palm oil and our rubber products are also exported to Iran,” he said.
“There are many ways to improve and increase this trade, especially we can, I mean there are many areas where we can potentially cooperate in the field of tourism, scientific research and also activities cultural.”
Asked about the main challenges in the way of trade between the two countries, the official said: “Of course, apart from the sanctions which are causing a lot of problems, there are challenges that we face not only for Malaysian companies. but also Iranian. companies coming to Malaysia.
“If I may say, one of the challenges apart from the banking restriction is also that we have to identify the type of products that we could import more from Iran, because at the moment the balance of trade is considered in Malaysia’s favor because of our export of palm oil and our exports of timber and rubber products.
“So we need to identify the specialty of Iranian products that Malaysia could import more into the country.”
Responding to a question about establishing a barter trade between the two sides conditional on sanctions, he said: “Of course barter is one of the mechanisms we could look at to increase our trade with the EU. Iran, but as I mentioned earlier the challenges are to identify the products, if you want to import palm oil from Malaysia, we need to identify what type of product we could import from Iran under this barter mechanism.
“We don’t have a barter trade with Iran at the moment, but we are exploring the possibility and potential of having this barter trade as well.”
Asked about prospects for Iran-ASEAN trade, Mohd Nizam Halimi said, “We have a very good environment for economic cooperation with Iran.”
ASEAN is one of the largest economies in the world, and there are many opportunities and potential areas in which Iran and ASEAN can work together, especially the development of trade and economic relations.
And when asked about trade barriers, he said: “Of course the challenges are related to one country’s unilateral sanctions against Iran. Thus, they restrict the activity, the economy and also the activities between the members of ASEAN and Iran; however, if the sanctions were potentially lifted and the nuclear deal potentially revived, it would open up more chances and possibilities for ASEAN countries and Iran to increase the [trade] The figures.”