TEHRAN (Iran News) –Head of Iran Chamber of Commerce, Industries, Mines and Agriculture (ICCIMA) Mr. Gholam-Hossein Shafei during meeting with visiting Chairman of the Board of the German Federal Association for Economic Development and Foreign Trade (BWA) Michael Schumann on Sunday called for easing visa issuance for Iranian traders and called it the major step for broadening economic ties.
In this meeting, Shafei criticized German government’s restrictions on issuing visa for Iranian businessmen, saying that facilitation of visa issuance is a prerequisite for the expansion of trade ties between the two countries, the ICCIMA portal reported.
Stating that Germany has always been Iran’s first trade partner in Europe, the ICCIMA head said: “After the nuclear deal, Germany was the first country to restart relations with Iran and the volume of trade between the two sides increased by 60 percent in a short time. But after the withdrawal of the U.S. from the JCPOA, the volume of economic exchanges between Iran and Germany decreased by 50 percent.”
He further praised Germany’s efforts for maintaining economic ties with the Islamic Republic and said: “I hope your visit can help activate the commercial capacities of both sides further. Especially with the new situation and the war in Ukraine, cooperation between Iran and Germany can have good results for our region and Europe.”
Shafei further pointed to the automotive, agriculture, and education sectors as attractive fields for cooperation between the two sides, saying:” We are becoming the hub of automobile manufacturing in the region and we need new technologies in agriculture due to droughts and limited water resources.”
The official noted that ICCIMA is seeking to establish an office in Germany, adding “We are doing our best to increase the volume of trade with Germany. Fortunately, the conditions are better than in the past and it is possible for the delegations to meet in person. I hope that the next meeting of the two countries’ joint economic committee will be held as soon as possible to help the development of trade between the two sides.”
Shafei then reiterated that ICCIMA ready for hosting German trade delegations or dispatching Iranian delegations, adding that exchange of trade delegation can help the ties between the two states come closer.
He reiterated that banking problem on way of broadening trade ties is considered a serious hurdle but he is sure that private sectors of the two countries can find ways to overcome it.
Schumann for his part stated that currently, 1,300 people from different companies and research institutes in Germany are members of BWA, saying: “Our goal is to find emerging markets across the globe. This association helps German companies to find business partners in the world and supports international companies to operate in Germany.”
He noted that one of the important points in activities of BWA is good and full cognizance of trade partners, adding that he believes with in-person meetings and direct talks, capabilities of both sides can be revealed and for this reason he is in Tehran.
Schuman then pointed to the broad historic relations between Iran and Germany and said that unfortunately there is currently a negative picture of Iran among the Germans and it is because of the political and media efforts and one of the goal of visiting Iran is to change this negative picture which has happened because of lack of knowing Iran.
He stated that they were recommended not to visit Tehran due to security issues but now they are in Tehran and in full security and witnessing good hospitability of Iranians and will take back this experience to Germany.
He admitted that Iran and Germany can expand their economic cooperation but because of lack of knowing capacities of Iran, this has not happened. He reiterated that economy can pave the way for restoring ties and broadening it among the nations.
Schuman then invited Iranian companies to attend the Caspian-Europe event in Germany on October 10-11 which will be in the fields of mining and energy, adding that Germany on October 5 will also hold a conference on auto industry.