The Forum for Partners in Iran's Marketplace

January 2017, No. 82

Trade & Business

Iran, Germany Sign 6 Transport MOUs

Germany has traditionally had close economic ties with Iran, and after last year’s nuclear accord, which paved the way for ending sanctions in place for years, German firms are now seeking business there again.

Iran and Germany signed six memorandums of understanding for cooperation in the transportation sector.

The agreements were signed following a meeting between Iran’s Minister of Roads and Urban Development Abbas Akhoundi and his visiting German counterpart Alexander Dobrindt in Tehran (Oct. 22).

Dobrindt arrived in Tehran heading a trade delegation (Oct. 20). The visit came a few weeks after German Economy Minister Sigmar Gabriel visited Iran.

Hoping that the two sides can expand their transport cooperation in future, Akhoundi informed that different German companies, such as Siemens are applying for taking part in Iranian transport projects.

Dobrindt also met Head of Civil Aviation Organization of Iran Ali Abedzadeh.

In their meeting, Abedzadeh voiced his organization’s readiness for studying proposals by German companies, while Dobrindt expressed German administration’s willingness to finance aviation projects in Iran.

The German minister traveled to Iran accompanied by a delegation comprising general directors of various German companies active in shipping, ports, and marine transportation as well as airports officials.

During Gabriel’s early October visit, the largest engineering company in Europe, Siemens, agreed to supply components for 50 diesel-electric locomotives to Iran’s MAPNA Group.

Another agreement was also signed between the two companies to jointly manufacture 70 electric locomotives to be used in the 926-km Tehran-Mashhad railroads, which Iran is planning to electrify.

Together with Iran’s Economy Minister Ali Tayyebnia, Gabriel co-chaired the fifth session of Iran-Germany Economic Commission in Tehran on October 3. German firms signed 10 business agreements with Iranian partners at the gathering.

Siemens has long been in negotiations with Iran over an order for track technology and ICE 3 trains, a model of intercity train in use in Germany. The deal would be worth more than 2 billion euros ($2.25 billion), industry sources say.

Germany has traditionally had close economic ties with Iran, and after last year’s nuclear accord, which paved the way for ending sanctions in place for years, German firms are now seeking business there again.

Iran, German Bank Resume Oil Partnership

Meanwhile, Iran’s deputy oil minister for international affairs said oil cooperation between Iran and Germany’s Deutsche Bank have been resumed.

Amir Hossein Zamaninia touched upon lack of cooperation on the part of major European banks with Iran especially as regards oil deals in the post-JCPOA (Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action) era and noted: “However, unlike the past when collaborations were limited to small European banks, prominent banks are also boosting their ties with Iran.”

“Transactions with Deutsche Bank of Germany were resumed a few days ago for conducting a number of oil deals,” stressed the official, asserting that several other major European banks will reinvigorate ties with Iran in coming days.

Zamaninia, while pointing to the talks held with giant oil companies over new oil partnerships under IPCs (Iran Petroleum Contracts), said “a number of firms are still harboring doubts about launching cooperation with Iran within the framework of the new model for Iranian oil contract though negotiations are still underway.”

“Talks are being conducted in order to introduce IPCs to foreign companies, European ones in particular,” he maintained, adding, “Developments have emerged in negotiations with several major European companies the results of which will be announced within weeks.”

Germany’s Deutsche Bank had officially suspended banking activities in Iran in 2006 especially in areas of crude or oil product sales.

In 2007, Deutsche Bank spokesman Ronald Weichert confirmed that it was pulling out of Iran, a country where it derives just 0.1% of its revenue, because it didn’t make business sense to stay.


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  January 2017
No. 82