IRNA – Andreas Schweitzer, A Swiss national businessman claims that the US president cannot turn the wheel back on international trades with Iran.
He made the remarks in a recent exclusive interview with IRNA in London.
Commenting on how his company cope in dealing with Iran despite current anti-Iran political climate in the US administration, Schweitzer said, ‘We do not deal with the US because we would have no way to comply with compliance. We would need 20 people to manage this, our business is not setup for that and we do not have any US request.
‘I am sure the US is not helpful these days, it will use Iran situation as leverage to create complications with economic damage, but our market is Europe and if I look what Norway, France, Switzerland and Germany does all these countries are very bullish on Iran.
“Volkswagen and Mercedes came to Iran. They are building plants. I do not think you can turn this wheel back.
“Then you have the issue of payments, which today there is a lot of solutions in the smaller sector. Of course companies with a lot of US exposure will remain careful but I know a lot of European companies with big US business are in Iran since many years and they have not decided to leave.”
Asked how could financial transactions take place whilst banks are still in doubt dealing with Iran, the Swiss business said, “Certainly the big banks who have a big foot print in the US are not dealing with Iran; but there are midsize banks in Italy, Austria and Sweden who deal with Iran. So you just have to go to banks who have no US exposure. So It’s up to the Iranians to go out and find solutions.
“I would really like to encourage Iranian companies to go abroad and not always wait until the foreign companies come.”
Elaborating on how the Iranian companies should advertise themselves abroad, Schweitzer said, “We have a very little understanding of each other, because we haven’t dealt with each other. If you never see an Iranian company in London, people would just forget about it. The Iranian companies should come and present their companies. They should go to trade organizations and mingle with the international business community.
We have to make this relationship more normal and you do that by having more interactions.”
Commenting on how US President Donald Trump’s Travel ban which includes Iran can affect that interaction, he said, “Unfortunately this is a big issue. 80 percent of the trade delegation was cancelled when this visa problem came in a year ago.
“Many companies now say it’s too complicated to deal with Iran because we have a very big US business. That’s why I am saying that those who have a great opportunity are those with a very little US business.”
As for the possibility of expecting any momentum with Big banks trading with Iran, Schweitzer hoped that “next January after two years where certain restriction fall, things will improve. One of the European ambassadors in Iran told me as long as Mr. Trump is in office the big banks will not come. I fear he is right.
“As far as we are concerned, we are not wasting any time dealing with large banks with US footprint.
We have enough opportunity to deal in Iran, that’s why we set up our fund and we have an extremely positive outlook but it does not come easy and cheap.”