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France eyes transport deals with Iran

Thursday, January 28, 2016 - 01:40

France and Iran have hailed a set of business tie-ups and export deals. As Sonia Legg reports they include the sale of dozens of Airbus planes and a car factory revamp that re-ignites a decades-old relationship between Tehran and carmaker Peugeot.

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Planes, trains and automobiles - all were on the agenda as Iran's President met business leaders and politicians in Paris Several business arrangements were flagged involving Airbus, French national railway operator SNCF and PSA Peugeot Citreon. Carlos Tavares is the car makers' CEO (SOUNDBITE) (English) PSA PEUGEOT CITROEN CHIEF EXECUTIVE, CARLOS TAVARES, SAYING: "We expect that from late 2017, we will be able to introduce three brand new products with new technology, with updated technology to support our Iranian customers and we will make sure that we invest the appropriate capacity up to 200,000 cars a year." It probably wasn't the easiest of visits for Hassan Rouhani. Protests about Iran's human rights record took place in Paris And France was one of Iran's fiercest critics during the talks to lift sanctions. But that's all in the past it seems. (SOUNDBITE) (Farsi) IRANIAN PRESIDENT, HASSAN ROUHANI, SAYING: "We are ready for a new chapter, a new season , and a new page. Political will is what the two government possess." Exactly what stage the deal for at least 100 Airbus jets is at isn't clear But France - like Italy - is doing the right thing, says Nandini Ramakrishnan, from JP Morgan Asset Management. (SOUNDBITE) (English) JP MORGAN ASSET MANAGEMENT, GLOBAL MARKET STRATEGIST, NANDINI RAMAKRISHNAN, SAYING: "It's a very important thing to consider that middle class growth, that young, growing spending population in Iran and that is expected to double in the next 15 years." For Peugeot Iran is vital. It's racing to expand outside Europe after a brush with bankruptcy. The relationship goes back 50 years and Peugeot lost 10 percent of its deliveries when sales were suspended in 2012 It's now targetting annual sales of 400,000 vehicles by 2020.

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France eyes transport deals with Iran

Thursday, January 28, 2016 - 01:40