Economy, Domestic Economy

Iran, Germany’s Top MENA Business Partner

Iran, Germany’s Top MENA Business PartnerIran, Germany’s Top MENA Business Partner

Iran is Germany’s top economic and trade partner in the Middle East and North Africa.

The statement was made by State Secretary of Germany’s Federal Foreign Office at the German-Iranian Economic Forum on Thursday. The event was organized by the German Chamber of Industry and Commerce (DIHK) in Berlin.

Stephan Steinlein added that Germany was involved in most sectors of Iran’s infrastructures in the past, IRNA reported.

“Iran’s nuclear deal, better known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, with six world powers was one of the uplifting developments of 2015,” he said.

Iran emerged from years of economic isolation in January when world powers led by the United States and the European Union lifted the sanctions against OPEC’s No. 3 oil producer in return for curbs on Tehran’s nuclear program.

Steinlein noted that he prospects of economic cooperation between the two countries are bright.

“Iran should press ahead with conducting economic reforms, privatization, trimming down the bureaucracy and improving transparency as well as legal security in the new climate prevailing in the country,” he said.

“Ample business opportunities are available in the Iranian market and this forum would be a turning point in their bilateral relations.”

The German official also announced that his country’s Minister of Economic Affairs Sigmar Gabriel will lead an economic delegation during a visit to Tehran in the near future.

Speaking at the same forum, Iran’s Energy Minister Hamid Chitchian said, “Iran is aiming for 8% annual economic growth under a new development plan being implemented after the lifting of sanctions on the country this year.”

  Call for Iran’s Banking Linkup

German industrial giant Siemens added its voice to calls that Iran should be linked up to the global banking system soon to facilitate trade after the lifting of sanctions against the country, EuropeOnline magazine reported.  

“I very much hope that Iran will be able to participate in the international banking system soon,” Siegfried Russwurm, a member of Siemens’ managing board, said at the forum.

In order for Iran to resume business with the West, its banks need to be linked to overseas lenders to transmit payments and letters of credit.

German industrial giant on Wednesday signed a far-reaching agreement with an Iranian power and infrastructure group, MAPNA, to help modernize Iran’s energy infrastructure.

As part of the agreement, MAPNA would acquire the knowhow to manufacture Siemens gas turbines in Iran and the parties would cooperate to deliver more than 20 gas turbines and associated generators over the next decade.

Volker Treier, another leading member of DIHK, said increased Germany’s exports to Iran could result in the creation of about 80,000 new jobs in the European country. He had earlier predicted that German exports to Iran would double in 2016.