Friday, 17 January, 2020

Swiss, German Eye Iran Trade Opportunities

A Swiss business delegation headed by the former Swiss ambassador to Iran Livia Leu, met with Gholam Hossein Shafei, head of Iran’s chamber of Commerce on Monday.

During the meeting also attended by Julia Hoss, the two sides called for the expansion of bilateral trade ties between Iran and Switzerland.

The Iranian official expressed the hope that the visit by the Swiss delegation could pave the way for the promotion of long-term relations between the two countries.

A high-ranking Swiss delegation is in Tehran to pave the ground for the development of economic cooperation with Iran.


The delegation travelled to Iran over the weekend for the first such visit in a decade in a bid to expand trade ties.

The four-day visit starting Sunday comes after Iran and six world powers agreed on the outlines of a potentially historic deal after marathon talks in Switzerland early this month.

Leu, the head of bilateral ties at the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (Seco), had said after the deal that this was a “very propitious” time to visit the Islamic republic.

“We would like to find out how the Iranian government wants to proceed until negotiations are concluded, and after the sanctions are lifted,” Leu was quoted by Swissinfo as saying last week.

Several delegations from Europe and Asia have so far visited the country to study the potentials for investing in the country’s market and more are expected in capital Tehran in the near future.

Switzerland eased economic sanctions against Iran at the start of last year.

Trade between the two countries amounted to 640 million francs ($670 million) last year with the balance heavily tipped in favour of Switzerland.

German businessmen make new Iran visit

A group of German businessmen is visiting Iran for a second time in months to explore opportunities for investment amid hopes of sanctions relief for the Islamic Republic, Press Tv reported.

The delegates, led by Volker Treier, Deputy CEO of the Association of German Chambers of Commerce and Industry, have met with senior Iranian officials in Tehran.

After a meeting with Iran’s Chamber of Commerce, Treier said Germany will continue to explore business opportunities in Iran regardless of the outcome of Iran’s nuclear talks with global powers.

“What’s important for us is to benefit from any opening too boost trade transactions with Iran,” he said.

“Whatever the outcome of talks, our objective will not be affected and we will not be dissuaded,” he added.

Treier, however, expressed hope that Iran and six world powers would reach a permanent agreement for the removal of sanctions imposed on Iran.

Gholam-Hossein Shafe’i, chairman of Iran Chamber of Commerce, said German companies are willing to invest in renovation of Iran’s industries.

He said that Iran and Germany have moved ahead with their economic cooperation despite restrictions imposed in recent years.

Shafe’i, however, expressed regret that the sanctions cut Iran-Germany transactions by half to $3 billion.

He said that Germany can be a reliable partner for Iran’s saffron, carpet and dried fruits export to Europe.

The sanctions were imposed on Iran at the beginning of 2012 by the US and EU claiming that there is a military aspect to Iran’s peaceful nuclear program; an allegation Iran categorically rejected.

The Islamic Republic and the P5+1 group of countries – the US, the UK, France, Germany, Russia and China – reached an interim agreement on the Islamic Republic’s nuclear program in the Swiss city of Geneva last November, which led to relative loosening of sanctions against Iran, paving the way for further cooperation in various economic fields, especially in energy sector, between Iran and other countries.


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