TEHRAN, March 31, YJC - Quebec will soon be sending a formal trade mission to Iran to help Quebec companies win contracts in the aluminum sector.
TEHRAN, Young Journalists Club (YJC) -
Québec organizes trade missions every year to assist companies in signing contracts abroad. But Iran has not been one of those destinations in the past 15 years.
That will change. In early May, Quebec will send a trade mission to the Islamic Republic of Iran. Roch Paquette, Minister of Economy, Science and Innovation will be in charge.
They will mainly be companies in the field of aluminum and more particularly equipment manufacturers, people who can supply equipment and services to large aluminum smelters
Roch Paquette, Ministry of Economy, Science and Innovation
Iran wants to produce 5 million tons of aluminum per year by 2025, a huge amount, according to Paquette. With the lifting of much of the international sanctions against the country, Quebec companies can help Iran achieve this target.
"According to the criteria we set for ourselves, it is possibly the most interesting for the next ten to fifteen years ... There are fewer smelter constructions in the coming years ... we believe that growth will be Iran,” Roch Paquette, Minister of Economy, Science and Innovation
But some international sanctions remain, according to Bardia Afzali, a tax lawyer with the Iran-Canada Business Council, an organization that wants to help Canadian businesses do business in Iran.
The biggest challenge for a Canadian company is all that is banking, all payment methods, how to fund certain projects in Iran, how to repatriate money from Iran to Canada.
Especially since Export Development Canada (EDC) is not in a position to provide export guarantees to Quebec companies that want to sign contracts in Iran.
"One thing is certain: in 2017, Iran is not one of the priority countries for which Export Development Canada wants to guarantee loans or operations," Paquette said.