Germany has been the biggest commercial-industrial partner of Iran in the last 150 years. Here is what Amir Alizadeh. the vice-chairman of the German-Iranian Chamber of Commerce and Industry. has to say about trade ties between Iran and Germany:
Ties were fairly good up until 2012. but the intensification of sanctions saw companies such as Mercedes Benz. which had 50 years of presence in Iran under its belt. leave the country.
He said the industrialization of Iran came on the back of assistance by the German private sector. Siemens initiated economic ties between Iran and Germany. Later the Germans built vocational schools and railways in the country.
He went on to say the 1960s and 1970s marked the peak of German presence in Iran. Backed by the governments of Iran and Germany. the German-Iranian Chamber of Commerce and Industry was set up in 1975. almost three years before Iran`s revolution. In 2005 the trade balance between the two countries hit an all-time high of €5 billion.
Good trade ties between Iran and Germany continued until 2008 when Germany was Iran`s biggest trade partner. he said. adding but when sanctions were intensified. trade ties declined and China and South Korea replaced Germany as Iran`s biggest trading partners.
Alizadeh further said the first German delegation arrived in Tehran only two days after Iran struck a historic nuclear deal with world powers which has played a key role in reviving ties between the two countries. Over the past two years. the volume of bilateral trade has posted 25% growth each year.
As a superpower the US uses the leverages available to it to exert pressure on global firms and banks [not to do business with Iran]. he said. adding in 2015 and 2016 it imposed heavy fines on European banks. including one major bank in Germany and another in France.
In conclusion. he said if the stage is set. German companies will make a comeback to Iran for investment.