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Joint Economic Commission Will Convene After 15 Yrs.
Domestic Economy

Joint Economic Commission Will Convene After 15 Yrs.

Iran-Germany Economic Commission is scheduled to open in Tehran on May 2 after a 15-year hiatus. 

Three days of meetings will be co-chaired by Iran’s Minister of Economic Affairs and Finance Ali Tayyebnia and German Vice Chancellor Sigmar Gabriel, who is also Germany’s minister of economic affairs and energy.

The event will host major German companies, the European country’s international broadcaster Deutsche Welle’s Persian service reported on its website.

Gabriel was one of the first high-ranking foreign officials to visit Iran after the country and world powers clinched a historic nuclear deal in July to revive economic ties damaged by years of western sanctions imposed on Iran. 

The German minister’s visit is propelled by the belief, according to the German broadcaster, that Berlin has lagged behind in returning to the Iranian market after the removal of sanctions in mid-January, as compared to other European states, especially Italy and France.

Deputy chief executive of the German Chamber of Commerce, Volker Trier, emphasized the importance of the upcoming visit amid the influx of business leaders from other countries to Iran in search of post-sanctions opportunities.

Italy’s Prime Minister Matteo Renzi earlier led a 250-member business delegation to Tehran where both countries signed 12 memorandums of understanding. His visit was in response to President Hassan Rouhani’s trip to Rome in January, when the two sides signed deals worth about €18 billion.

While in Europe, the president also paid a visit to France where massive deals were signed, including a landmark agreement with Airbus to purchase 118 planes, worth $27 billion, according to list prices.

So far, Berlin has been able to broker a major oil deal with Iran. German engineering giant Siemens said in early March that it has signed a far-reaching agreement with Iranian group MAPNA to help modernize Iran’s energy infrastructure.

Transportation sector also has potential for promoting bilateral cooperation. Iranian Railways Company and German conglomerate Siemens transportation subsidiary, Siemens Mobility, recently signed several memoranda of understanding to develop Iran’s railroads.

The agreements concern electrification of Tehran-Mashhad railroad and Tehran-Isfahan high-speed train; Iran’s procurement of 500 passenger cars and development of the country’s railroad infrastructure, as well as consultation and technology, according to Iran’s Ministry of Roads and Urban Development.

Volker Trier had earlier hoped that Iran-Germany trade could reach “a two-digit number in billion euros”.

Two-way commerce currently stands near $2.5 billion per annum, which both countries are keen to quadruple by 2020, according to German Association for Small- and Medium-Sized Businesses BVMW.

Germany, Europe’s biggest economy, has traditionally been Iran’s most important trading partner in the 28-nation European Union. Germany’s exports to Iran over the past year mainly included machinery and equipment, agricultural products and pharmaceuticals. 

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