JCPOA Fosters German Partnership

JCPOA Fosters German PartnershipJCPOA Fosters German Partnership

The German ambassador to Iran said the implementation of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action has created a real opportunity for economic partnership between Tehran and Berlin, considering the rich history of trade relations.

In an interview with IRNA in Tehran on Monday, Michael Freiherr von Ungern Sternberg said Iran and Germany have a positive experience of long commercial cooperation.

"This experience, combined with the new opportunities emerging from JCPOA, has prepared a solid ground for boosting investments and cooperation between the two countries," he said.

JCPOA is the formal name of a nuclear accord between Iran and world powers that went into effect on January 16, leading to the removal of international economic sanctions on the country in exchange for temporary curbs on its nuclear program.

Sternberg said as the first step, the German companies should recognize potentials in the Iranian market, for which the German Embassy has a lot to offer.  

The ambassador said that after JCPOA, 10 German economic delegations have arrived in Iran and more will come in the coming months.

"Many of them seek to work with local partners and some are even thinking of big investments," he said. "I believe they have a good chance to succeed, if a fair competition be guaranteed."

The diplomat announced that German Vice Chancellor and the Minister for Economy and Energy Sigmar Gabriel will visit Iran soon to resume the meetings of the joint economic commission of the two countries after years of delay.

For decades before the nuclear sanctions were imposed on Iran, Germany was its largest trade partner. According to German sources, around 80% of machinery and equipment in Iran are of German origin.

But the sanctions created a gap in Iranian imports from Germany and other western countries. German exports to Iran declined from €4.7 billion to €2.1 billion ($5.1 to 2.3 billion) between 2010 and 2013. However, the historic nuclear deal marked a big turnaround. The opening up of the Iranian economy after more than a decade of isolation encouraged as many as 145 trade missions from 48 countries to visit Iran in 2015.

Among all the countries rushing to Iran, Germany was one of the most eager ones, as it sent 12 business missions to regain its pre-sanctions stature in Iran. Germany's Chambers of Commerce and Industry has said it expected exports to Iran to double to €5 billion ($5.5 billion) in the coming years and reach twice that figure in the long run.