By Kayhan Life Staff
The Iranian conglomerate Etka, which is allegedly owned by the Armed Forces of the Islamic Republic, has opened its first supermarket “Megasis” in the Venezuelan capital Caracas, the Iranian Students News Agency (ISNA) reports, citing a statement by the Iranian Defense Ministry.
“To boost the country’s non-oil economy, particularly during the coronavirus pandemic, Etka corporation, which has years of experience in production and export of Iranian goods, has opened its supermarket Megasis in the Venezuelan capital Caracas,” the statement said.
The store occupies an area of 20,000 square meters and sells nearly 2,500 types of Iranian goods, including food, cleaning products, clothing, hardware, houseware, and electronic products and farm equipment and machinery, ISNA said.
Etka has reportedly received large orders from Venezuelan businesses and merchants for Iranian goods including construction materials, agricultural machinery, prescription drugs, medical equipment, economy cars, tractors, food, and dairy products.
The company has approached many Iranian manufacturers, offering to buy their products or display their goods at Megasis on consignment. It is also offering franchise packages to Iranian businesses.
Iranian goods and industrial products are sold using “the usual international currency.” Etka’s new business venture in Venezuela offers Iranian manufacturers an opportunity to boost their revenue and hire more people, ISNA added.
The Iranian ambassador to Venezuela Hojjatollah Soltani and Etka’s managing director Isa Rezaei attended the opening ceremony of Megasis supermarket in Caracas.
“By opening this store, we defy America’s economic terrorism, and help the Venezuelan people, who have suffered under crippling sanctions,” Mr. Rezaei said.
News of Etka’s business venture in Venezuela has not escaped the attention of the foreign media.
“An Iranian conglomerate owned by the country’s military and tied to its missile program has established a retail foothold in Venezuela, according to officials and records detailing the move, deepening Tehran’s involvement with [President Nicolas] Maduro government,” The Wall Street Journal reported. “The Iranian firm is working with the Maduro government’s troubled emergency food program, which is the subject of U.S. enforcement action as an alleged money-laundering operation, compounding U.S. concerns regarding the move.”
This article was translated and adapted from Persian by Fardine Hamidi.