Countries / Territories

EU – Iran Trade Development

  • Trade-related technical assistance, capacity building, and value chain development for inclusive and sustainable trade-led growth.

    About the project

    The EU-Iran Trade Development Project is part of renewed cooperation and engagement between the EU and Iran following the conclusion of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) in 2015.

    The European Union (EU) funds the 5-year project, with a budget of EUR 8 million. Launched in January 2019, the project was designed by the International Trade Centre, jointly with the Government of Iran, namely the Ministry of Industry, Mine and Trade (MIMT).


    The objective of the project is to contribute to sustainable economic and social development in Iran, through increased and diversified trade in goods and services.

    More specifically, this project aims to support the business sector, including high potential SMEs, by facilitating the drafting of a National Export Strategy, supporting the development of selected value chains, providing technical cooperation to Iran's Trade Promotion Organization (I-TPO), and establishing a youth trade accelerator.

    Project outputs

    OUTPUT 1. Trade policy, market intelligence, investment framework, and mechanisms for addressing bilateral trade irritants are improved.  

    OUTPUT 2. Inclusive access to markets and/or to value chains is improved. 

    OUTPUT 3. Capacity for business innovation and entrepreneurship, including on sustainable and digital solutions for SMEs and their support institutions, is increased.  



    National Export Strategy

    Fostering economic diversification through increased and broadened exporting will support im¬proved growth in Iran by providing new opportunities, attract¬ing new investment and motivating productivity growth.

    In this connection, the National Export Strategy (NES) is aligned with existing national and sector-specific plans and policies and builds on ongoing initiatives in areas related to private sector development, regional integration, investment and economic empowerment of youth.

    The Iran NES was developed based on a participatory approach, during which more than 400 Iranian industry leaders, small business owners, farmers and public sector representatives held consultations to reach consensus on key sector competitiveness issues and priority activities.

    Actions under the NES, define priorities for sparking more inclusive, sustainable and resilient trade-led growth in the following:

    Priority sectors

    • medicinal herbs
    • fruits and vegetables
    • petrochemicals
    • auto parts
    • information and communications technology
    • tourism

    Trade support functions

    • trade information and promotion
    • quality management
    • entrepreneurship

    Equally importantly, the NES initiative already accommodates budgeting to support implementation of critical pilot activities identified during the design process. This will ensure that impact and momentum are generated from early on, and support further resource mobilization and confidence-building.

    This National Export Strategy of Iran was developed based on the process, methodology and technical assistance of the International Trade Centre (ITC) within the framework of its Trade Development Strategy programme.


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