Economy, Business And Markets

German Businesses Seek Closer Ties

German Businesses Seek Closer Ties
German Businesses Seek Closer Ties

Deputy Minister of Industries, Mining and Trade Hossein Esfahbodi announced that a delegation of 300 Italian businesspersons, along with a trade delegation from Germany, has requested to visit Iran to assess economic opportunities and hold face-to-face talks with Iranian traders and business owners.

“The presence of foreign businesses in trade fairs and exhibitions in Iran has recently increased dramatically. However, there are many competent companies in the world eager to work with our country after a nuclear deal is reached,” Mehr News Agency quoted the official as saying on Monday.

Iran and P5+1 (five permanent member of the UN Security Council plus Germany) are racing against the clock to seal a deal that would put an end to a long-running dispute over the country’s nuclear energy program.

European businesses, walled off by anti-Iran sanctions, are eying the Iran-West talks, to take advantage of the country’s lucrative market following its relief from sanctions.

Reuters reported on Monday that founder of a company in Germany that is a world leader in tunnel-boring equipment has been preparing for the day when Iran reopens for business.

He recently visited Tehran, meeting officials in the Energy Ministry and sewage department. Before sanctions hit, Herrenknecht did $11 million-$17 million of business a year in the country.

A senior German official referred to the competition for doing business with Iran as a regatta, saying “everyone is trying to put themselves in the best position to be first when the starting gun sounds.”

“They are trying to assess whether the old relationships are still valid. Can they rely on the people they know or do they need to build new relationships?”

Earlier, German Ambassador to Iran Michael Freiherr von Ungern-Sternberg, during a meeting with the new board of directors at Tehran Chamber of Commerce, Industries, Mines & Agriculture, said: “There is good potential for broader economic cooperation and German companies are keen on directly investing in the Iranian market.”

Iran-Germany trade between 2008-14 stood at $18.8 billion (about $2.7 billion per year on average). During the period, Iran’s imports from Germany amounted to $16.4 billion as exports to the country hit $2.4 billion.

According to Islamic Republic of Iran Customs Administration, imports from Germany last Iranian year (ended March 20) included mechanical devices, antiserums and other blood products, soybean oil, road tractors, supplements, wood shavings press baler machines, sunflower oil, vacuum pumps, casting machines, diesel locomotives, insecticide, butter, industrial and laboratory furnaces, excavators, soil grinding machines, rocks and ores, artificial body parts, oil-free lubricants and washing machine parts.

Also, floor coverings, pistachios, licorice concentrate, plants, apple juice, tea, sewing machines, tragacanth, almond, pastry, pastry machinery, henna, pickles and saffron were the most exported commodities to Germany from Iran during the period.