The following article was contributed by the Embassy of Iran. – Ed.
Iran and Korea established their diplomatic relationship in 1962.
Throughout these years, the two countries have maintained a relatively friendly and strong relationship. The presence of Tehran Street in Gangnam, Seoul, as well as Seoul Street in the north of Tehran are symbols and reminders of the long friendship between two countries. Iranian officials have always expressed positive views toward South Korea and supported the expansion of bilateral relations, underlining that such cooperation could help further the two countries friendly relations. Fortunately, we have had a number of official meetings recently, among them, visits by the South Korean minister of foreign affairs, and the minister of land, infrastructure and transport to Tehran in August and November 2015 respectively.
Iran’s El Goli park in Tabriz /The Iranian Embassy
It goes without saying that President Park Geun-hye’s state visit to Iran is a landmark event in the history of relations between the two countries. This event will open a new chapter in the Iran-Korea bilateral relationship and will provide ample opportunities for the enhancement of bilateral cooperation in cultural, economic, and historical fields.
As far as trade relations between the two countries are concerned, both countries have attached great importance to continuous economic and business cooperation, even in the face of unjust extensive sanctions against Iran over past decade. Korean companies have a long record of presence and successful activity in the Iran market and have been working in many infrastructure and construction projects in Iran. They enjoy a very good reputation as reliable and confident partners, which in turn, is a valuable asset for their future activity in the Iranian market. Iran and Korea enjoy strong economic ties with bilateral trade volume standing at roughly $8.6 billion in 2014. This figure dropped to $6.1 billion in 2015.
Korea can satisfy Iran’s needs in multiple areas including energy projects, power plants, the auto industry, the railway network, ICT and steel production plants. In return, Iran holding the world‘s fourth-largest proved crude oil reserves and the world’s second-largest natural gas reserves can be a sustainable supplier of energy for Korea.
As we enter the post-sanctions era, the Iranian market is becoming a very competitive one and South Korean firms should prepare to take advantage of this opportunity.
Iran and South Korea have had a number of official meetings to discuss bilateral trade and economic cooperation. On February 29, the Korea-Iran Joint Economic Commission was held in Tehran on the ministerial level. Simultaneously and alongside this commission, there was also a business forum in which a large number of businessmen from the private sector of both countries participated.