N-Deal: Increased German business interest in Iran

BERLIN, Jun. 24 (MNA) – CEO of German Near and Middle East Association (NUMOV) tells Mehr News that a successful outcome of the nuclear talks should lead to a deepening of economic relations between Germany and Iran that are ‘mutually beneficial.’

In an exclusive interview with Mehr News, CEO and chairperson of non-political NGO NUMOV, Helene Rang highlights that a nuclear deal would revive strong economic relations between Iran and other countries and pave the way for lucrative business partnerships with Germany in particular.

The Nuclear talks between the 5+1 and Iran are steadily heating up as the deadline looms ever closer. What in your opinion would be a successful outcome for all parties involved?

A successful outcome would of course yield a sophisticated agreement that deals with the details accordingly and ends the deadlock in bilateral relations to Iran. In order to achieve this, the Lausanne framework has already established a foundation and, just as important, it has proven that such negotiations can be fruitful. A far-reaching agreement would of course benefit the Iranian people first and foremost, who have suffered from isolation over the past decades. It would pave the way for a revival of the once rich economic relations between Iran and other countries.


How do you think Europe could benefit from a successful Nuclear Deal and the lifting of sanctions in Iran? How would this benefit Germany in particular?

Having a significant contribution to an agreement (France, the UK and Germany are among the 5+1) it would certainly bolster Europe’s image as mediator aiming to solve international issues in a peaceful manner. Moreover, there are obvious economic profits: Lifting the sanctions could benefit both parties mutually, allowing European countries to once again engage in trade with Iran while Iran could end its isolation and begin to modernize its industry.

Historically, German companies have had good trade relations with Iran, and many still maintain their contacts in Iran. Others are very interested in entering the Iranian market. Once the sanctions are lifted, several partnerships will emerge, to a mutual benefit. And let me tell you that Iranian business partners have a very good reputation of being dependable in Germany while vice-versa German companies stand for quality and reliability.


How could trade patterns look in regards to Germany-Iran trade?

German companies are among the best in constructing machinery and plant manufacturing worldwide. Iran not only has a great potential, but also a great need to invest in its industry. Here, our companies can play a vital role. Moreover, as opposed to other potential trade partners, German companies can deliver ‘the whole package’; that is, rather than only constructing or delivering, they are invested in knowledge transfer and a more sustainable cooperation. That is particularly interesting given the large number of well-educated young Iranians.


What companies would be interested mainly and what goods would be traded?

We have witnessed interest from companies across all sectors. Of course, the necessary investments in the (petrochemical) industry will attract many German construction and plant manufacturing companies. That, however, will also include forwarders and suppliers – Germany has many ‘hidden champions’ that aim to enter a new market. Even beyond that, sectors such as vocational training have – once again, resembling the ‘whole package’ – a great interest.

Goods to be traded for the petrochemical sector would be tubes, fittings, pipes, valves, and a lot more machinery. Besides this, consumer good are very interesting as well.


How important for business is an immediate vs. a gradual lifting of sanctions?

The main sanction that companies are struggling with is Iran being banned from international financial transactions. Once this is lifted, the trade can flourish again. More important than this question, however, will be the durability of a new status quo. To whatever degree the sanctions will be lifted, it ought to be a viable development.


What is the role of NUMOV in future possible Germany-Iran business relations?

NUMOV has more than 600 member companies from all sectors and of all sizes. We have always maintained a good relationship with our Iranian friends, even in times of sanctions. We have held several conferences during the past years and in December 2014 we organized a delegation visit to Tehran, accompanied by a number of German companies, meeting many high-ranking representatives of Iranian ministries, corporations, banks, etc.


NUMOV has recently held a conference called “Doing business in Iran;” can you tell us more about that?

This conference aimed at showing German companies how deep the Iranian market is and how fruitful future trade can be. Again we had the pleasure of welcoming mainly high-ranking representatives from both sides. The conference had about 300 participants – that emphasizes the great interest of German companies to do business in Iran.


How detrimental for business would it be in case the nuclear talks would fail?

Failing negotiations would be a setback. Business representatives and high-ranking representatives from both Iran and Germany have invested in improving the relations over the past years, yielding a lot of success. Moreover, since the deadline for the negotiations have been postponed several times already, they are nearing the ‘now-or-never’ moment.


What would you suggest for Germany and for Iran?

To deepen our economic relations and ensure for them to be mutually beneficial – but speaking from experience, I am certain that this will be the case.


Interview by Zeynep Aydin

Helene Rang is the CEO and chairperson alongside former German chancellor Gerhard Schröder (who serves as honorary chairman) of German Near and Middle East Association (NUMOV). This non-political NGO strives to promote trade and investment between Germany and the countries of the Near and Middle East.


News Code 108084


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