Iranian Ambassador to the Philippines Mohammad Tanhaei urged Filipino entrepreneurs to consider Iran as a frontier export destination.
He cited a large untapped market for Filipino products in his country, adding several export and business opportunities awaited local companies in Iran if they could overcome their misconceptions about the Middle East nation.
Cosmetics is among these goods enjoying high demand, said Tanhaei in his recent talk at a trade seminar on new destinations for Philippine exports, organized by the Trade Department’s marketing bureau.
“Iran is one of the main destinations of cosmetics in the Persian Gulf. Cosmetics can be a good [starting] ground for the Filipino exporters to [supply to] Iran,” he said.
The Iranian Association of Cosmetics, Toiletries and Perfumery Importers said Iran accounted for $2.1 billion of the Middle East’s $7.2-billion beauty products market, second in the region after Saudi Arabia.
Beauty products highly sought by Iranians include makeup, skin-care and anti-aging products.
Tanhaei related how he helped one cosmetic company in the Philippines go to Iran for market exploration. The firm confirmed the big business opportunity in the country,
The company started to look into exporting cosmetics products that are coconut oil-based, like lipsticks, to Iran.
Tanhaei noted “a very strong appetite” for fashion items such as men’s, women’s, and children’s clothing that Filipino businesses can meet, amid the lifting of trade sanctions against his country.
Besides cosmetics and clothing, Iran is seeking direct exporters of grocery items and agricultural products.
Filipino companies can also look to Iran for joint ventures in various fields, including pharmaceuticals, an area where Iran is a big producer.
Iran possesses high 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,” Tanhei said.