Interview with Pedram Soltani, Vice President of Iran Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Mines, and Agriculture
TEJARAT FARDA: What was the result of the recent visit by German Vice Chancellor, Economy and Energy Minister Sigmar Gabriel to Tehran?
SOLTANI: In reply to this question we need to have a look at Germany’s current trade and economic situation. The country is a top world economy and according to the most recent rankings, it is among the top four countries with largest economies in the world. The size and influence of Germany’s economy reveals its significance in bilateral economic relations. Considering the country’s economic situation, Iran’s expansion of ties with Germany would obviously result in new proper opportunities for cooperation between the two nations.
We should have a comprehensive plan to properly use the opportunities that Germany’s economy provides. We should always have in mind that Germans are well-known for high-quality products and high-tech industries globally. This would help bring Germany’s investment to Iran.
Iran and Germany has signed 10 business agreements. What are the main signals these agreements send to Iran’s economy and Iranian businessmen?
It has been a long time since the last meeting of Iran-Germany Joint Economic Commission but now that the commission is convening a meeting reassures that Germans’ interests to expand business ties with Iran have been increased.
Following the implementation of Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, several German business delegations have visited Tehran. Germany has had more delegations than any other country, which shows the high desire from the country’s private sector to work with Iran. Further, it shows their capacity for cooperating with Iran’s private sector.
In their meetings and negotiations, German companies clearly say that they are looking for opportunities to invest in Iran; they are looking into lasting works in Iran’s economy. This is of high importance and reveals change of policies towards cooperation with Iran.
Are those agreements signed between Iran and Germany in the interest of Iran’s private sector?
For more precise information about Iran-Germany Joint Economic Commission you should contact the officials from the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Finance. But the commission’s meeting was overshadowed by Mr. Gabriel’s political remarks before coming to Iran and it seems that due to those remarks the details of the agreements were not reflected properly.
Preliminary agreements for resolving trade obstacles between the two countries have been reached but still a top priority of Iran’s private sector remains to be the normalization of Iran-Europe banking relations. Iranian and German officials have discussed resumption of financial cooperation between large German banks and Iranian banks, renewing arrangements with Germany’s Hermes insurance company to cover the country’s exports to Iran, avoiding double taxation and investment of German companies in Iran. The details of the negotiations are yet to be released by the officials of the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Finance.
How is the current level of trade and economic cooperation between Germany and Iran?
The current amount of trade between the two countries shows growth and the process will no doubt continue in the future as well. The capability of Germany’s economy for working with Iran is really high and in the meantime our needs are equivalently wide. German industry can pride high-tech machineries which are extremely needed in Iran. Iranian industrialists are also eager to buy German machineries because of the good record they have inside Iran.
Several large German companies have announced their readiness to invest in Iran. Major companies like Siemens even have re-opened their offices in Tehran. These investments would obviously result in expansion of ties.
Source: Tejarat Farda magazine