Belgian companies contend US sanctions on Iran will have ‘real impact’

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Belgium’s Federation of Enterprises (FEB) as well as its Wallonia Export-Investment Agency (AWEX) have both said that US President Donald Trump’ decision to withdraw from the nuclear agreement with Iran and the resumption of economic sanctions would have a direct impact on the Belgian companies.

According to AWEX, Belgium’s exports to Iran totaled nearly 600 million euros in the first 11 months of 2017, while imports from Tehran reached 115 million euros.

“It’s important for Iran to modernize its oil-production, transport, health and energy infrastructure, but also telecoms and banking services” FEB Chief Pieter Timmermans said. “This decision has dealt a severe blow to any such modernization.”

In 2016, Iran occupied 87th place among Belgium’s export markets, and 99th place among Wallonia’s export markets.

After signing the agreement with Iran was first signed in 2015 and sanctions were lifted, a lot of AWEX companies continued exploration in Iran.

“An average of about 30 companies were present on our joint missions to Iran,” she said. “The country offers interesting prospects for Walloon companies,” Awex General Administrator Pascale Delcomminette was quoted as saying by the Brussels Times.

“It will already have psychological repercussions because the companies will fear reprisals,” she added.

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