TEHRAN (FNA)- Italy’s Prime Minister Matteo Renzi is due to visit Tehran next Tuesday at the head of a big trade delegation, an Iranian economic official announced, adding that Italian automaker, Fiat SpA, is due to buy a block of the Middle-East’s largest carmaker, Iran Khodro Company (IKCO)’s share.
"The Italian prime minister will visit Iran at the head of a trade delegation consisting of 100 businesspersons active in different industrial fields,” Head of Iran-Italy Joint Chamber of Commerce Ahmad Pourfallah told FNA on Wednesday.
Asked about the results of consultations between Fiat SpA and the Middle-East’s largest automaker, IKCO, he said, "They have reached a landmark point in their talks and have good interaction.”
Pourfallah added that both companies are due to set up a joint firm with Fiat purchasing a block of IKCO’s stocks.
A delegation of Fiat SpA was in Tehran in February to hold talks on joint ventures with IKCO.
The 12-strong delegation of Fiat SpA company visited Iran Khodro’s production line in the capital. They also took a trip to the Northwestern province of Khorassan Razavi to visit Iran Khodro’s production line there.
Following a nuclear deal between Iran and the world powers, the race has tightened for access to Iran’s auto market. European automakers, which were forced to leave the Iranian market after international sanctions on the Islamic Republic for its nuclear program, are now trying to restore their previous shares in Iran’s vast car market.
About 370 Italian traders, including representatives of steel group Danieli, energy company Enel, agricultural machinery maker CNH Industrial, Telecom Italia and several banks, visited Iran to discuss business opportunities.
Fiat, which controls Chrysler, and its subsidiary heavy-truck maker Fiat Industrial SpA halted sales to Iran in 2012 following similar moves by other carmakers under US pressure to cut ties with Tehran.
The automobile industry accounts for nearly 10 percent of Iran’s gross domestic product. The latest data shows that Iran ranks 18th on the list of the world’s top auto manufacturers. However, the country’s automotive industry needs modernization.