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Austrian Agency to Offer €1b Export Credit

Austrian Agency to Offer €1b Export CreditAustrian Agency to Offer €1b Export Credit

Austria’s export credit agency, OeKB, will probably start covering trade with Iran from early 2017, said Christian Benger, the economy minister of the government of Carinthia. OeKB raised the cap for covering transactions with Iran from €280 million to €1 billion in late September. 

 “OeKB issues guarantees for traders up to the set cap… the cap might be lifted once commercial relations between the two countries are more stable,” he was quoted as saying by Tehran Chamber of Commerce, Industries and Mining's website on Tuesday.

The financing will help boost trade between banks, Benger said. “Given the support from our central bank, Austria could become the leading country that establishes normal commercial relations with Iran.”

TCCIM officials, headed by Masoud Khansari, traveled to Austria to discuss trade ties. They called on Carinthia’s chamber of commerce and discussed ways to expand cooperation between the private sectors of the two countries

Khansari, the TCCIM head, pointed to the Iran-Austria history of trade, and said: “Austria could be among the first countries to restore ties with Iran.”

“Iran has always met its financial commitments, which has led to the considerably low amount of its foreign debt compared to most countries across the world,” he said.

Jürgen Mandl, head of Carinthia Economic Chamber, said that Austrians are interested in working with Iran, “However, lack of normal banking relations is still a major challenge for both sides.”

“It is not Iran or Austria’s problem,” he said, hoping for the quick improvement in the current conditions.

Abdollah Molaei, Iran’s ambassador in Austria elaborated on improvement in Iran’s economy in recent months adding that Iran settled its debts to Austria last month.

Regarding two-way banking relations he said: “Some small and medium-sized Austrian banks have established relations with Iran, major banks are also negotiating with Iranian banks, specifically the Central Bank of Iran to start correspondent relations.”

He called on businesses from the two countries to help solve the remaining problems. “OeKB’s €1 billion coverage cap for Iran could help encourage Austrian firms to start business with Iran.”

Carinthia is a southern Austrian region in the eastern Alps that encompasses Austria’s highest mountain, Grossglockner. Tourism, electronics, engineering, forestry, and agriculture are main industries of the state.

The TCCIM delegation is set to visit Germany in the coming days.

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