In a meeting between the Representative of Federal Executive Board, Mr. Alexander A. Gorjinia, and the president of Tehran Chamber of Commerce, possibilities of extending the collaboration between these two organisations were discussed.
In a short interview, we asked Mr. Gorjinia about the role of the German Association for Small and Medium-Sized Businesses (Bundesgeschäftsführung) in developing a tighter relation between Iranian and German enterprises.
M.K.: Mr. Gorjinia, how could this Association encourage German Businesses to consider Iranian market seriously?
Our association has more than 11500 members, 10% of them are global players. The others are mainly small and medium-sized businesses from which I can certainly say that 80% has interest to work in Iran.
But our main problem is that we have very scarce information about Iranian Businesses. This causes everything to become slower.
As we are looking to have long-term relations with Iran, our main challenge is to define a goal for the next 8 to 10 years that Germany and Iran want to reach together.
To find such a goal, we need to know each other very well and that is exactly why we are in Tehran now.
M.K.: How long do you think it would take that German and Iranian businesses would have gain enough knowledge about each other to find a common goal?
It is a continues progress. Today a large business delegation from Germany is visiting Iran, few months ago an Iranian delegation visited Germany. Every shake-hand between an Iranian and German means a step forward. We are constantly working on this.
Particularly to get our young people closer to each other. Recently a German law firm has opened an office also in Tehran and they invited five young Iranians to visit Germany. When I met these young guys chatting with ten or fifteen young Germans, I was very delighted. They were talking about everything; from their work, their lives, their cultures, etc. That is the way we can get to know each other and it will continue forever.
M.K.: Could you estimate that how long would it take until the first new contracts will be signed between Germans and Iranians?
If everything goes well as it does now and the situation remains favorable, I certainly can say that by the next 8 to 9 months we will reach our goal and that is the point that German companies will enter one after another.
M.K.: Do you think banking relations will develop quickly as well?
No! For the banks we have to wait for some time. At the moment, banks need at least 12 months to prepare the technical backgrounds and the Central Bank has also accepted this. Banks are also a bit more scared because they were fined during the sanctions. Even if we find a bank in the next months, who is determined to work in Iran, only the legal work would take around eight months. Therefore, we have to wait a little bit more to see the banks entrance.
M.K.: Do German enterprises have priorities to invest in Iran?
Yes; Iranians! Whenever someone asks me what is the most beautiful thing in Iran, I say it is the people. A country would develop only if its people develop and Iranian young people are full of energy who are looking for opportunities to grow.
These young girls and boys are the most valuable asset in Iran to encourage German companies to invest in Iran and use this energy.
M.K.: Is there any particular sector that you can foresee Iranian young generation would collaborate with German ones?
I would say Digitalization. It is one of our priorities in Germany. Although our industries are very digitalized, but we still need to develop a lot in this sector. Within the next few months the first “driverless-car” will be driven in Germany. There are lots of opportunities to work on this issue and for this we need clever people who can understand this concept.
Iranian young guys are highly capable in such themes and I see great possibilities to create collaboration here.