Domestic Economy

Germans Eager to Rekindle Economic Ties

Germans Eager to Rekindle Economic TiesGermans Eager to Rekindle Economic Ties

A group of German businessmen and industrialists, led by deputy CEO of the Association of German Chambers of Industry and Commerce (DIHK), Volker Treier, met with senior officials from Iran Chamber of Commerce, Industries and Mines on Sunday on the 40th anniversary of the formation of the German-Iranian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (AHK) in Iran.

Business representatives from different German states as well as representatives from Germany's joint chambers with Morocco and Saudi Arabia were part of the delegation, which aimed at exploring business opportunities in Iran, ISNA reported.

Treier, who serves as chief economist and managing director of DIHK's economic policy division, said Germany is eager to "rekindle business relationships with Iran," recalling that the two countries have enjoyed strong and prosperous relations in the past.

"The number of German businesses willing to invest in Iran is far more than those attending this meeting. We could have brought a trade delegation large enough to fill a stadium," were Treier's comments, expressing enthusiasm for expanding bilateral economic relations.

He also said Germany is prepared to invest in development of modern technologies in Iran and transfer of technical know-how to Iranian workforce.  

Noting that German sectors such as automotive and medical equipment are prepared to invest in Iran, Treier added that Berlin is set to increase exports to Iran to reach a "double-digit figure."

In 2014, the value of German exports to Iran rose by almost 30 percent to 2.4 billion euros after some western sanctions (imposed against Tehran over its nuclear energy program) were suspended. Felix Neugart, a foreign trade expert at Germany's DIHK Chambers of Commerce and Industry had early expressed hope that the figure would double in the next five years.

> Strategic Ties

Addressing the meeting on Sunday, chairman of Iran chamber of commerce, industries and mines, Gholam-Hossein Shafei said Iran and Germany share "deep-rooted and strategic relations," expressing regret that trade between the two countries sharply reduced following the imposition of western sanctions.

Noting that German-made products and machinery enjoy high quality standards, he said Iran could collaborate with Germany for renovating and upgrading its domestic industries.

Recalling that many traditional Iranian goods such as carpet and saffron were previously exported to Europe through Germany, he called for resuming such activities.

> Role of SMEs

Shafei further stressed the role of small and medium-size German enterprises in expanding bilateral business relations.

Ever since large German companies, like Siemens, were forced to withdraw from the Iranian market due to tightened sanctions, Germany's primary links with Iran have been through small and medium-sized enterprises, according to a report by Germany’s international broadcaster, Deutsche Welle.

Michael Tockuss, director of the German-Iranian Chamber of Commerce also believes extending business relations with Iran will benefit the small and medium-scale German companies, noting that Germany is not only seeking to increase exports, but looking forward to developing strong economic ties with Iran.

With more than 1,700 members, the German-Iranian Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Iran is, according to its site, the fifth largest German representation in the world.