‘Iran-Germany trade overshadowed by sanctions’

July 17, 2019

TEHRAN – Managing Director of Germany-Iran Chamber of Commerce and Industry (AHK Iran) said the current political situation (sanctions) is negatively affecting the economic relations between Iran and Germany.

“The economic relations between Iran and Germany will only grow when the political situation becomes stable again," Dagmar von Bohnstein said in an interview with the portal of Iran Chamber of Commerce, Industries, Mines and Agriculture (ICCIMA).

The official noted that affected by the U.S. sanctions, the trade between the two countries fell about 48 percent in the first quarter of 2019 compared to the first quarter of the previous year.

“Based on the data published by the German Statistical Office for the country’s foreign trade from January to April 2019, German exports to Iran fell by 49 percent to 450 million euros in the reporting period compared to the previous year while Iranian deliveries to Germany fell by 39 percent to 80 million euros,” von Bohnstein said.

The official noted that since U.S. withdrawal from the nuclear deal and re-imposition of sanctions, German companies have shown more willingness for continuing economic activities in Iran, compared to other European countries, although their activities have also been affected by the U.S. sanctions.

“Despite the sharp decline in trade between the two countries, Germany remains Iran’s top trading partner in Europe,” she said adding that “Despite the U.S. pressures on European companies, 60 German companies are still operating in Iran.” 

According to the official, the German companies operating in Iran are active in a variety of fields, including machinery and industrial equipment, agriculture, petrochemicals, pharmaceuticals, renewables and foodstuff.

She further stated that German companies know that if they completely leave the Iranian market, it will be difficult to return to it because there are other rivals.

In the first quarter of 2019, Iran had about €218 million worth of exports to Europe, which shows a 92 percent drop compared to the same period in 2018, before the sanctions. Iran's imports from the 28 EU countries during the same period stood at €1.42 billion, a 56 percent decrease from 2018 figures.

In May 2018, the U.S. unilaterally withdrew from a nuclear deal reached between Iran and five world powers in 2015, and reimposing sanctions on Iran, including on its important banking and oil sectors.

Washington then threatened all companies affiliated with U.S. organizations or companies to cut ties with Iran otherwise face harsh penalties.
Pressured by the U.S. policies, many European companies which were operating in Iran has left the country. 

EF/MA

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