German companies ‘must act quickly now’: Business official

Tehran, July 22, IRNA – Managing Director of the German-Iranian Chamber of Industry and Commerce Daniel Bernbeck urged German companies not to lose the ripe opportunity of making investments in Iran in the post-sanctions era.

According to the Deusche Welle English website, he said in an interview on Tuesday that “the Iranian nuclear deal will allow Germany to quadruple its exports to Iran in the next four years.”

He said that the “German companies have followed the EU rules to the letter and did not interfere while the nuclear talks were taking place. No business or government delegation went to Iran during this time; at the most there were some visits from the German Chamber of Commerce.

While other countries were quite active during the negotiations, German companies, in contrast, remained very cautious and observed the developments from the outside. But as soon as the deal was signed, we did not wait and acted rather quickly.

The German minister’s visit is still not related to trade. It is a fact-finding mission – a symbolic journey to demonstrate that the success of the negotiations is not merely restricted to papers but has practical implications.”

He went on to stress that “The old trade relations between Germany and Iran will be revived. These are mainly related to mechanical engineering and parts deliveries for the car industry. To some extent it will also include raw materials for the chemical and pharmaceutical industry and medical technology. The printing industry will also benefit from the lifting of the sanctions. But the mechanical and plant engineering will be the focus of the new ties. These sectors have been hit hardest by the sanctions and will also benefit the most from the agreement.”

The German business official also noted that “most of Germany’s export potential was not directly affected by the sanctions, but rather restricted by extra-judicial entrepreneurial and political decisions. For instance, banks sometimes refused to transfer money to Iran. This wasn’t because the products destined for that country were actually banned. It was rather the fear of potential retaliation by the United States that drove the banks to reject Iran-related money transfers, regardless of the aim and beneficiary.”

Commenting on the probable results of the visit of the German economic delegation to Iran, Bernbeck said, “Iranians are of the view that there will be no return to the sanctions – a development which lays the foundation for future investments. In this regard, we expect to see a clear surge in exports from Germany. Trade happens fast and shippers cannot complain at the moment about the number of orders from Iran – a situation expected to continue for the next two years.”