Western companies eager to trade with Iran: European tradesman

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Managing partner of Arjan Capital Ltd Andreas Schweitzer has said that Western companies are eager to trade with iran regardless of the US election outcome.

Speaking in an exclusive interview with IRNA correspondent in London, Schweitzer commented on the future of trade relations between Iran and the West.

He noted that the two sides relationship is ‘very good on personal level. On political level I would also say it is good. It is an issue of implementation.
There is a lot of good intensions on all side but it is also a very complicated affair.’

I think one should contend oneself with individual successes and the arrangements will take time. We also see a lot of activity from our side. We import gas turbines, we help international companies to buy shares in Iranian companies. It is a great opportunity for industrial companies and service companies who want to be active. We facilitate imports which still is a big problem because of the payment restrictions. So all is a little bit more difficult but everything is doable if you do it correctly.’

Commenting on the obstacle in improving trade relations between the two sides, Schweitzer said, ‘The biggest issue is that all LC system only works with individual banks. So you cannot use the older big banks for large transactions, then the primary sanctions with the US are still there.
So companies who have US activity are still a bit shy. So it is an issue of perception not necessarily of risk.’

Asked about the possible risks for the banks that are to trade with Iran, the Arjan Capital Ltd official said, ‘A Bank will be fined because they made some transactions and the Americans consider this was not appropriate and then they are fined again think these banks they don’t want to even think about it anymore because the opportunity is not so big.’

As for the small banks starting to do business with Iran, he noted, ‘There are very few regional banks, some banks have even opened offices in iran. It will develop, this level is still pretty good. You can do a few hundred million turnover which is, I think, six months after the JCPOA (Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action). It is a good result. This is very positive to me. But one should not think things will happen very very fast.’

Commenting on US government’s different policy towards Iran, Schweitzer said, ‘You have different voices but you also don’t know what government you are going to have. We are going to know more when the elections are done. But until the new secretary of state is in place I don’t think there is going to be a real clarity. I do not blame anybody who does not act, regardless of what the Americans suggest. But this is good for Europeans and I am not complaining. People who want to invest in Iran wants to see clarity in America regardless of who is the next president
They just want to know what is the situation. So much is said before the election and things are different after the election. All I would say is lets just wait to see how things are

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