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German exports to Iran up by 26% in 2016

March 27, 2017 at 4:58 pm

German navy, 27 March 2017 [Anthony Casullo/Wikipedia]

German exports to Iran rose by 26 per cent last year and by more than 30 per cent in January alone, an economist at Germany’s Chamber of Commerce and Industry (DIHK) revealed today, as trade between the two countries picks up after sanctions were lifted.

Trade between Germany and Iran was worth €2.9 billion ($3.2 billion) in 2016, up from €2.4 billion ($2.6 billion) in 2015, data from the Federal Statistics Office showed. Exports of German goods accounted for €2.6 billion ($2.8 billion) of that amount.

DIHK foreign trade economist Volker Treier told Reuters he was sticking to the aim of boosting trade in goods between Germany and Iran to €5 billion ($5.4 billion) by the end of 2018.

Read: Iran threatens to resume nuclear programme if US does not honour deal

“With these growth rates, that’s certainly achievable,” he said, though he added that a previous prediction of trade volume reaching €10 billion ($10.8 billion) within 10 years would probably take longer.

“It’s a stable upswing,” he said. “But it’s not the great success of which we dreamed and of which we are still dreaming.”

Treier said part of the problem was that hardly any major banks want to get involved in projects and business with Iran due to some US sanctions that remain in place. German banks in the United States risk fines by breaching such restrictions.

Another issue is that Iranian banks often do not fulfil international standards, he said.

A 2015 deal between Iran and six major powers restricts Tehran’s nuclear programme in exchange for the lifting of international economic sanctions against the Islamic Republic.