Tehran, Iran, July 20
By Mehdi Sepahvand - Trend:
Minister for Economic Affairs and Energy and Vice Chancellor of Germany Sigmar Gabriel, who is leading a delegation of some 100 German companies to Tehran, met with Iranian Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh.
The two discussed ways to remove obstacles especially in the banking and insurance areas, SHANA news agency reported July 20.
During the meeting, Zanganeh described opportunities for cooperation with German companies in oil, gas, refinery and petrochemicals.
Iran is different from 12 years ago, he stated, adding that the country has managed in the meantime to domestically produce many kinds of equipment that it used to import at that time.
During those 12 years, Iran grew increasingly isolated from the world in economic terms because sanctions over its nuclear program restricted its range of activities in the global market.
Iran has just reached a nuclear deal with the group P5+1 (the US, UK, France, Russia, China, and Germany) that is expected to remove the sanctions and open the way for the country to do international business.
Gabriel for his part said that his country realizes the differences Iran has made in the past 12 years and added that his team is not in Iran only to offer goods.
"The German economy needs raw material and Iran can be a reliable partner in that area. Also, the two countries can cooperate on a lot of economic grounds," he asserted.
Currently, German exports to Iran amount to about 2.4 billion euros ($2.6 billion) - less than half what they were ten years ago, when sanctions were imposed. According to the German Chambers of Industry and Commerce (DIHK), that figure could easily multiply to a sum in the double-digit billions once sanctions will be lifted.
Germany was the 14th leading importer of Iranian non-oil goods in the previous Iranian calendar year, which ended on March 20, 2015, according to the Iran Customs Administration.
Iran exported $354.17 million of non-oil goods to Germany and imported $2.33 billion of non-oil goods from the country.
Edited by CN