Iran, dubbed by analysts and industry experts as one of the last emerging markets, is gearing up to be open for business once more for the global automakers – with European peers from PSA to VW already ready to profit.
The approaching sanctions end – which were in place for the past four years but could be abolished once the recent deal is approved by all parties – would release more oil on the global markets and allow anything to go in, from airplanes to cars. The Europeans have already expressed different levels of commitment – from ongoing negotiations to spoken intentions. But Asian manufacturers are also among the prospective winners. “It’s a fantastic opportunity for Asian automakers,” comments Anna-Marie Baisden, London-based head of auto analysis at BMI Research. “There’s quite an appetite for foreign brands with good quality.” Iran, a country very rich in oil and gas, today is the world’s 29th largest economy based on market exchange rates, but is set to reach the 22 nd position ahead of places such as Switzerland, Argentina, Taiwan, Sweden and Thailand, says the Economist Intelligence Unit.
Iran’s largest trading partner last year was China, which skimped on the western sanctions to be able to purchase the country’s oil. The second biggest was the United Arab Emirates, who is close enough to the Islamic republic to allow its consumers easy access to foreign goods. The three following nations – India, South Korea and Japan, followed and that means Iranians will snap everything from Toyotas to Hyundais in the near future.