MNA – The Managing Partner of TradeBridge Arkadiusz Trela said that Iran is a unique place in the world because there is no other country like Iran blocked for so many years and now open for the entire world.
Arkadiusz Trela was among the Polish economic delegation headed by the Deputy Economic Development Minister Tadeusz Kościński, who arrived in Iran on March 6.
In an exclusive interview with Mehr News correspondent, Trela praised Iran’s huge opportunities for European companies, saying the Islamic Republic is a stepping stone for Poland to enter in and take advantage of other countries in the region.
Here is the full text of his interview with Mehr News:
What are the achievements of your visit to Iran?
This is my third time in Iran, each time aiming to sign trade cooperation agreements. We have trade relations with many countries; it’s not only Iran, since it is our priority market but we are also present in other markets. TradeBridge puts high priority to its trade partners from all around the world, especially the Iranian side.
Last time in Iran, we signed a letter of intent to start a project in the automotive industry, this project is ongoing currently, and this time we will travel to Anzali Free Zone where we have built a company, which is named Pol-e Tajarat (Trade Bridge). We are going to open shops there with European brands. Polish companies are very active in Iran and the relations are on the rise especially after JCPOA.
The Polish-Iranian TradeBridge team consists of experienced managers and businessmen who have relations with reliable partners in both markets. The relations and market knowledge enables TradeBridge to effectively acquire both suppliers and consumers for Polish and Iranian companies operating in various industries. So far, thanks to the experience and market knowledge, TradeBridge launched nearly 20 different brands and hundreds of products to the Iranian market.
How do you evaluate the growth of bilateral ties between Iran and Poland following the implementation of JCPOA and the removal of sanctions?
Before JCPOA no Polish companies were active in Iran, now there is a huge difference. We started to be active at the beginning of 2016 and we are new in Iran and when the sanctions were removed, we immediately came Iran and noticed that the market and opportunity in Iran were amazing and full of opportunities. I believe Iran is a unique place in the world because you cannot see other countries like Iran blocked for so many years and now open for the entire world. We decided to create the Tradebridge Company in Iran and started office in May 2016 and now we establish shops and we saw the huge potentials now.
Polish government supported expanding trade relationship with Iran and encouraged Polish businesses to take advantage of the commercial opportunities arising from the lifting of sanctions.
What are the main problems on the way of trade ties with Iran? Have the signed agreements been implemented?
Banking obstacles have made some problems on the trade relations between the two countries. It is actually what we recently talked about with Deputy Economic Development Minister Tadeusz Kościński that the biggest challenge currently is the banking and financial system, because it limits the number of potential business partners to Iran as this problem even with a simple money transfer, blocks international investment, for instance. International financial issues, that is really a huge obstacle, is the number one problem.
Iran and Poland has taken important steps, and many contracts have been signed between the banks of the two countries, however, it is just on the beginning, therefore we still have to wait more until the moment we would operate the agreements.
Why is Iran considered the priority for TradeBridge Company?
Iran is our good and valuable trade partner. Our company is a joint venture of the polish partners and businesspersons; thanks to their expertise and knowledge on the market, we do not experience other problems, the ties with other companies in Iran are good, the contracts have been signed.
Iran can be a stepping stone for us to enter in and take advantage of other countries in the region. Iran is located centrally in the middle East so we are not talking about merely 80 million people living in Iran, we always talk about 400 million people living in the countries around Iran in the middle East. The position of Iran in the region is very important for more ventures and opportunities for the European companies.
We expect to take advantage of Iran’s market. We think the development and growth of Iran is the first stage to create good internal domestic markets, technologies in Iran, when this is done then Iran will be ready to go to the another markets, and from this perspective we always think about Iran as a leading country in the region.
Arkadiusz Trela is the Managing Partner of TradeBridge, expert in management, business development, marketing and sales with over 20 years of experience in top tier global companies. TradeBridge is a company specialized in a rapid and effective development of businesses in the international markets and has established offices in Poland, Iran as well as its own retail facilities in the Anzali Free Trade Zone.
Interview by: Lachin Rezaian