The Islamic Republic of Iran, long subjected to trade sanctions by the West, is now opening up its market to various agricultural products from the Philippines, especially Abaca and fruits.

Iran's Ambassador to the Philippines, Mohammad Tanhael, informed me during his visit to the Dept. of Agriculture office on Friday that his country would like to buy more bananas, pineapple and Abaca from the Philippines.

He said Iran is currently buying its Abaca supply from a third country which also buys from the Philippines.

"We need a huge volume of Abaca for tea bags, security papers and bank notes," Ambassador Tanhael told me.

He said Iran also would like to import more bananas and pineapple, including mangos, from the Philippines while also offering apples and nuts in exchange.

The Ambassador also said that Iran would be willing to provide the Philippines with synthetic rubber supply in exchange for its natural rubber in view of the country's plan to establish its first Filipino-owned tire factory.

To realise these business engagements, the Dept. of Agriculture will be conducting an agricultural trade mission to Iran in May which I will head personally.

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