German firms willing to invest in Iran’s auto industry, modern technologies

TEHRAN (FNA)- Deputy Head of the Association of German Chambers of Industry and Commerce voiced willingness of the German investors to invest in Iran’s modern technologies and auto-manufacturing industries.

“We are interested to cooperate with Iran in the transfer of technologies, specially in manufacturing machineries and cars as well as medical products,” Trayer said in a meeting with Chairman of Iranian Chamber of Commerce Gholam-Hossein Shafeyee in Tehran on Sunday.

He, meantime, called for boosting the value of Germany-Iran trade balance from the current $2 billion to over $10 billion.

Trayer pointed to the ongoing Iran-world powers nuclear talks, and said, “Many German companies and banks are looking forward to the outcome of the negotiations in order to take part in Iran’s development projects.”

He noted that he is accompanying German traders and investors from different parts of Germany, and said, “We have been through a difficult decade, but the Iranian side always welcomed us to follow up our joint economic interests.”

Earlier this month, a Reuters report said that German companies are hoping to win billions of euros worth of business with Iran after the world powers reached a preliminary nuclear accord with Tehran, and Germany’s engineering body urged banks to revise their business policies towards Iran.

The tentative agreement struck on April 2 opens the way for a settlement to allay western concerns about Iran’s nuclear program, with economic sanctions on Tehran being lifted in return, Reuters reported.

“German businesses see the agreement as an encouraging sign,” Felix Neugart, a foreign trade expert at Germany’s DIHK Chambers of Commerce and Industry, said.

If economic sanctions were lifted by mid-year, business with Iran could “pick up markedly” in the second half of 2015, Neugart said. He added that German exports to Iran could double in the next five years.

In 2014, the value of German shipments to Iran rose by almost 30 percent to 2.4 billion euros (2 billion pounds) after some sanctions were suspended.

“In the long-term, trade could definitely be in the double-digit billions,” Neugart said.

Germany’s VDMA engineering association welcomed the deal, saying that as long as negotiators agreed on the remaining details, it would be a strong foundation for future relations with Iran, including economic ties.

The VDMA said while embargoes would remain unchanged from a legal perspective for German machine manufacturers until the final agreement, Iranian demand for machinery was likely to rise, because such projects often have a long lead time. Demand for spare parts for machines will also increase, the VDMA said.

Ulrich Ackermann, the head of the VDMA’s foreign trade department, said the VDMA was urging banks to revise their policies on business with Iran now rather than in late summer.

“Because when Iranian customers enquire about new investment projects soon, you can’t simply put them off until autumn due to deliveries of spare parts that are urgently needed,” he said.

The VDMA said exports of German machines and facilities to Iran fell to 455 million euros in 2013 from 1.57 billion euros in 2006, though they picked up to 631 million euros last year.

Michael Fuchs, a senior member of German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democrats, said an agreement could be “very advantageous” for both Germany and Iran.

He said existing sanctions should be “relaxed within the framework of a strictly monitored agreement as soon as possible”.

By Fars News Agency