The Iranian textile industry is gearing up for a new beginning and determined to progress in technology and global market penetration, in the post sanction era. As long-term partners of Iranian textile companies, Swiss textile machinery producers are eager to play a major role in their renewed growth and participated in a two-day seminar held in Tehran.
The event, held on April 25-26, has attracted a total of 350 delegates – consisting of who’s who of Iran’s textile industry. Organised by Swissmem, the Swiss national textile machinery representative body, the seminar featured a strong presence from the leading technology providers, including 40% of the association’s members.
Swissmem president Ernesto Maurer reported that the seminar exceeded all prior expectations, in terms of both the number and importance of the Iranian companies taking part: “Before the imposition of sanctions we enjoyed a very strong business and a good relationship with customers in Iran. This continued during the period of sanctions, but understandably at a lower level. In the new situation today, we are keen to intensify our relationship and business dealings to pre-sanction levels and beyond.”
Maurer identified problems with transfer of funds between the two countries as one of the major hurdles during the sanctions period. “Therefore this was a key theme at the seminar, with two speeches arranged by experts on international financial transactions. We are delighted that the seminar helped to strengthen still further the already strong ties between our respective industries”, said Maurer.
With export sales of 6.4 million Swiss Francs to Iran during 2015, Switzerland remains a significant provider of technology to the country. It is anticipating the Iranian industry to account for a larger share of its global export sales which could exceed 1 billion Swiss Francs in the coming years.
One of the representatives of Swiss company participating at the event, Christian Lerch, of Jakob Mueller said, “Our customers were pleased that we brought a significant presence to their country in what is still a challenging business environment. From outside, it underlines the trust that we have in the country and also in the textile producers of Iran”.
An expert insider’s view of the potential of the Iran textile industry came from Mehran Zehtab, of Kian Sanat Afzar – an engineering service company that represents Swiss companies Retech, SSM and Heberlein in Iran. Zehtab said: "Swissmem is always welcome and its presence is needed in Iran. Now, right after the removal of the sanctions, it was really necessary to say a new ‘Hello’ to our textile industries, which have in the recent past had to rely on technology from lower-level suppliers in other countries.