By Mahnaz Abdi

Bombardier, Siemens willing to boost share of Iran market

May 16, 2016

Like many other international companies, Bombardier Inc. and Siemens AG are willing to develop their activity in the Iranian market in the post-sanction time, although they consider banking barriers, which are still in place, an obstacle getting in the way.

The following is what some directors of the two international giants that are participating in Iran RAILEXPO 2016 (running from May 15 to 18 in Tehran) told the Tehran Times.

 

 ‘Bombardier interested to participate in upcoming opportunities’

 

“Now, after having a new situation (lifting of sanctions) we as many others have an interest to participate in the upcoming opportunities and when you see the number of exhibitors and particularly the foreign participants, you see there is an appetite of the outside industry to participate in the Iranian market opportunities,” said Dieter Brandenburg, the chief representative of Bombardier in Iran. 

 

Questioned about the changes he observes in Iran after the sanctions, he said, “The obvious change to me is to see really more foreigners in Tehran. So many delegations are travelling to Iran to really evaluate the market opportunities,” although he added, “I must underline ‘evaluate’ because you have a lot of potential, yes, many times people are saying that you should provide also financing, and financing is still an issue for the present situation for many projects, because there are still some limitations and restrictions in terms of financial transactions.”

“Apart from the financial issue, I really don’t see a downside in business in Iran. I really see the potential and I really see the opportunities foreign companies have and I see the way Iran is playing its part is right in terms of trying to develop its industry. I really see a positive trend, but again financial part is still an issue,” Brandenburg noted.  

“We really hope that by progressing in the negotiations with the local partners in parallel the financial side will become more normal,” he stressed.

Thomas Siegemund, the director for Platform Management Mass Transit Global Product & Engineering in Bombardier, said, “What we are currently looking for is the opportunities here in the rail sector in Iran, also looking for partners to work together. We have already some business which we have done in the past, but now with lifting of the sanctions, of course there are much more new opportunities in Iran and we are currently exploring to find out which of the opportunities could turn into business.”

Also, Ali Khalatbari, the local representative of Bombardier in Iran, referred to transfer of technology the priority of the company for business in the Iranian market.

“For Bombardier having gained now over the last year in depth knowledge of what the market requires, the most critical point is transfer of technology. We are working with Mapna [a group of Iranian companies involved in implementation of power, oil & gas, railway and other industrial projects] and IRICO [Iranian Rail Industries Development Company] and other companies to carry out the projects with manufacturing the units here in Iran rather than importing from Europe.”

 

 ‘Working with Iranian customers a pleasure for Siemens’

“Iranian customers are very open. It is a pleasure to work with them,” said Joerg Scheifler, the senior executive vice president of Siemens LLC Mobility Middle East.

“Since we have been here for more than one hundred years, including locally manufacturing and other activities, we are very happy that the sanctions are lifted. We see a great potential to increase our business activities with Iran. As I’ve been in the Middle East, I have seen many customers from different countries and I can tell you that Iran’s railway is actually one of our main customers as you have more than 10,000 kilometers of rail and we want to support you to modernize your railway. We want to help you bring your technology level to the current state of the art, because you are a little bit behind due to the sanctions,” he explained.

The Siemens’ manager said he sees no downside for business in Iran, while there are only upsides to do so. “There are many projects, customers love Germany”, he said while adding, “I from this industry would prefer that the financing facilities develop a little faster. Financing still is not so easy, but other than that, it’s a very interesting market.”

“Despite the sanctions, we were quite active in Iran. We have locomotive factory here with our partner Mapna. So, our relationship with rail industry in Iran is quite deep and long,” Scheifler noted.

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