Iran, Germany businessmen keen to expand trade ties

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(JPost) Germany’s annual business with Iran hovers each year around 4 billion euros. During the first half of 2011, German imports of Iranian goods increased to 453 million euros, from 382 million euros in the same period a year earlier. Also during the first six months of 2011, German consumption of Iranian gas and oil rose to 280 million euros, from 197 million euros in the first half of 2010.
The conference’s political goals were ambitious, largely because the Merkel administration and Germany’s business class have fought tooth-and-nail to oppose robust EU and US sanctions clamping down on trade relations with the Islamic Republic.
The Federal Republic, which is Iran’s largest EU trade partner, permits Iran’s main foreign militia and political proxy, the Lebanese group Hezbollah, to operate in its backyard. According to Germany’s domestic intelligence agency, there are an estimated 900 active members of Hezbollah in the Federal Republic and the radical Islamic political party remains a legal entity.
(Trend) Iran's deputy minister of economic affairs and finance says Iranian and German businessmen are eager to expand trade in all areas, Press TV reported.
Mohammad-Reza Farzin made the remarks on the sidelines of meetings with Iranian and German businessmen in Berlin, IRNA reported on Friday.
He noted that Germany is the biggest trade partner of the Islamic Republic in Europe, and expressed hope that the volume of bilateral trade would increase in all spheres.
He went on to say that the Islamic Republic has always been a good economic partner for Germany despite the European financial and economic crisis.
Trade between Iran and Germany witnessed considerable growth throughout 2010 despite the sanctions imposed on Tehran over its nuclear program.
Around 50 German companies have branches in Iran and over 12,000 German companies have trade representatives in the country.
Crude oil and natural gas account for the lion's share of Germany's imports from Iran, while Iran's main imports from Germany are metals, chemicals, and industrial equipment.
On Monday, the chairman of Iran's Chamber of Commerce, Industries and Mines, Mohammad Nahavandian, said that despite all the political barriers, the European Union is still Iran's biggest trade partner in the world.
Eurostat, the European Union statistical office, announced in its October report that Iran's exports to the 27-member EU increased 6.4 percent in the first five months of 2011 compared to the same period last year.
The report added that Iran's exports to the EU exceeded five billion euros from January to May 2011, although imports from EU states have fallen around seven percent to 4.1 billion euros during the five-month period.

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