SMEs can reconnect Iran-Germany economies: Bavarian minister

TEHRAN – Small and medium-sized enterprises can reconnect economic links between Iran and Germany under the auspices of the two governments, the economic affairs, media, energy and technology minister of Germany’s Bavaria State, Ilse Aigner, said on Monday. 

In a gathering organized in Tehran between Tehran Chamber of Commerce, Industries, Mines and Agriculture (TCCIMA) and Bavarian trade and industrial machinery delegation, the German minister said Iran and Bavaria should move ahead to restore economic relations.

Although the role of politics in resolving problems and reviving economic ties between the two countries should not be ignored, but it is incumbent on economic enterprises to shape the future of bilateral relations, the website of TCCIMA quoted Aigner as saying.

To this end, we have been negotiating with large German banks for a couple of months to restart cooperation with Iran, she said, adding that talks are in the final stages.

Aigner, heading a 50-member trade delegation, traveled to Iran on Saturday to discuss expansion of economic ties with Iran. The 50-member delegation is comprised of representatives from automotive, electronics, construction, engineering, banking, and environment sectors.

Patience is the key: vbm CEO

Another speaker at the function was Bertram Brossardt, the executive vice president and CEO of the Bavarian Industry Association, known as vbm, who invited the two countries to practice patience in terms of resolving the trading issues.

“What has been stagnant for 10 years, [referring to Iran prior to the JCPOA], cannot be achieved in 10 months.”

In his remarks, Brossardt highlighted obstacles still stopping Iranian banks from rejoining the global financial system and expressed hope to resolve the banking issue between the two countries by the end of the year.

Iran, a potential market of 400 million

Masoud Khansari, the president of TCCIMA, for his part, delivered a speech describing Iran as an attractive and profitable market for Germany with not just with 80 million people yet with 400 million people given its access to the 400 million-strong neighboring markets.

Addressing the audience, Khansari said Iran is the safest and most secure country in the region, with high number of young, educated people, making Iran a favorable trading partner and market for foreign investment.

He then pointed to economic growth rate in Iran, estimated at 5 percent this year, calling it a bright prospect for the country to attract foreign investments.
Among issues resolved between the two countries, the chief of TCCIMA stated, was the Hermes insurance debts, which had stopped Germany from opening new credit lines for Iran; however, the debt has been cleared.

During the sanctions’ era, under so-called Hermes covers, Iran owed Germany about €500 million ($578.90 million).

Pointing to the positive aspect of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), Khansari said the volume of trade between the two countries following the deal has soared by 25 percent.

(Source: Tehran Times)