German Economy Minister Sigmar Gabriel, leading a 100-member delegation, will attend Iran-Germany business commission in Tehran on Monday and he also plans to take part in some meetings to be held in the building of Iran Chamber of Commerce, Industries, Mines and Agriculture (ICCIMA), Shana reported on Saturday.
The German minister says the commission will meet for the first time in 15 years, and forecasts concrete business deals will be announced, Reuters reported on Friday.
He is making his second visit to Tehran since the Islamic Republic reached a deal with world powers in July last year to lift economic sanctions imposed on Iran over its nuclear program, in return for curbs on its nuclear activities.
Industrial giant Siemens AG and automaker Daimler will be among the first German firms to benefit from opportunities in Iran, but they are proceeding carefully and only after legal reviews.
Exports to Iran jumped 15 percent in the first half of the year to 1.13 billion euros and could reach 4 billion euros in the full year, said Michael Tockuss, head of the Hamburg-based German-Iranian Chamber of Commerce.
One big issue for small- and medium-sized firms is the inability to secure letters of credit for shipments of goods, said Werner Schroeppel, managing director of IMO GmbH, which exports components for wind energy facilities in Iran.
Schroeppel’s firm is now using third parties to do business in Iran, but hopes the process can be streamlined so it can take part in an expected boom in Iran’s wind energy sector.
The Europaeische-Iranische Handelsbank AG in Hamburg offers such instruments already, but Germany’s two biggest banks, Commerzbank AG and Deutsche Bank AG said they remain cautious.
Michael Sabet, an Iranian-German business executive whose company imports tons of saffron from Iran, said more banks are ready to provide letters of credit which he said could save up to 3 percent of the cost of a deal.
“The situation is easing,” he said. “We used to have to wait three to four months to get approval. Nowadays it’s just a phone call and some documents to exchange and that’s it.”