Iran-Germany trade prospering - report

Iran-Germany trade prospering - report

The trade between Iran and Germany has increased despite the sanctions imposed on Tehran's nuclear program, the German business daily Handelsblatt wrote.

The daily published an article, titled "Iran embargo not working", on Tuesday, saying German companies are expanding their trade cooperation with Iran despite the tough sanctions against the Asian country, Press TV reported.

"German companies' trade with Iran can withstand any political influence and yet still keep growing," a part of the article read.

The paper wrote that even though some German firms have limited their trade with Iran, a large number of companies expect a big leap in their transactions comparing to the last year's figures.

According to Handelsblatt, exports from Germany to Iran increased 11.6 percent to 2.5 billion euros in a time span of roughly eight months - from January through August.

Moreover, German imports from Iran doubled to 532 million euros against the figure for the first eight months of 2009.

In addition, The Federal Office of Economics and Export Control (BAFA) has confirmed that there had been no decrease in the trade volume between Germany and Iran.

BAFA reported that over 32,000 export permits for German goods to Iran have been issued in 2009. A BAFA spokesman told the paper that a similar figure is also expected for this year.

Meanwhile, the Iran expert of the German law firm Freshfields pointed out that the demand for legal consultations on doing business with Iran has witnessed a tenfold rise since July sanctions.

Most of the German businesspersons want to know how they can continue trade with Iran under the current conditions.

The German government has stopped providing long-term insurance services for firms trading with Iran, though it still grants credit guarantees for short-term exports.

Consequently, there has been a shift in German business ties with Iran from long-term business to short-term and from large to mid-sized companies which have less business interests in the US and thus are less prone to American political pressure.

Exports from Germany to Iran stood at 3.7 billion euros last year. Germany is an important trade partner for Iran, ranking third after China and the UAE. Nearly nine percent of all Iranian imports came from Germany in 2008.

Numerous major German companies are operating in Iran, including Linde, BASF, Lurgi, Krupp, Siemens, ZF Friedrichshafen, Mercedes, Volkswagen and MAN.

Around 50 German firms have branches in Iran and more than 12,000 firms have trade representatives in the country.

The EU sanctions against Iran came in the wake of a fourth round of UN Security Council sanctions on Tehran over its nuclear program.

The US-engineered sanctions resolution, approved in June, was followed by unilateral sanctions by the US, the EU and a number of other countries.

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