• Iran is new consumer market for PH exports

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    MORE business and export opportunities await Philippine enterprises in Iran if they can only overcome their misconceptions about the western Asian country, according to an Iranian diplomat.

    Ambassador Mohammad Tanhaei of Iran said in a statement over the weekend that Filipino enterprises have a large, untapped market for their products in his country and urged them to study about Iran as a new frontier for Philippine products.

    Cosmetics are among the goods with a high demand in his country, Tanhaei said. “Iran is one of the main destinations of cosmetics in the Persian Gulf. Cosmetics can be a good ground for Filipino exporters to Iran.”

    According to the Iranian Association of Cosmetics, Toiletries and Perfumery Importers,
    Iran present accounts for $2.1 billion of the Middle East’s $7.2-billion beauty products market, the second after Saudi Arabia.

    Among the highly sought products by Iranians are makeup, skin care, and anti-aging products.

    Tanhaei noted he has helped one cosmetic company in the Philippines explore the Iranian market. The company supposedly confirmed that the business that can be done there is huge, and has started looking at exporting products that are coconut oil-based like lipsticks.

    With the trade sanctions on Iran lifted, there is “a very strong appetite” for fashion items such as men’s, women’s and children’s clothing Filipino businesses can supply.

    Filipino companies can look to Iran for joint ventures in pharmaceuticals, for instance, an area where Iran is a big producer and where Philippine companies can explore partnerships in packaging.

    Tanhaei said his country possesses the expertise in technology and is willing to share its knowledge in producing pharmaceuticals and construction materials like cement.

    “There is a lot of advantage in doing business with Iran, whether importing, exporting or establishing joint ventures,” he said.

    But Tanhaei noted Iranian companies are not knowledgeable about what businesses can be developed with Filipino partners, and often skip the Philippines when they visit overseas.

    There is also the misconception about the level of safety and security in Iran, as Filipinos often confuse the country with Iraq.

    Tanhaei said his country is not only a safe place to visit but a profitable “virgin” market for establishing business ties.

    He invited interested domestic suppliers to go to the Iranian embassy in the Philippines for information and assistance on entering the market.

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