Germany's Economy Minister Werner Mueller called Monday for greater trade between his country and Iran, the official IRNA news agency reported.
Berlin attaches "particular importance" to developing economic relations with Iran, which up to now have been "insufficient," Mueller said after meeting with his Iranian counterpart Hossein Namazi.
Mueller announced that a joint Iranian-German commission would start meeting next year with the hope of boosting trade. Iran recently passed legislation opening the country up to foreign investment, until now extremely difficult.
Mueller also said he wanted "to encourage other countries to promote cooperation with Iran."
The Germans have only 200 million dollars invested in Iran, while the Iranians have invested slightly more in Germany, according to the German embassy in Tehran.
But trade between Iran and Germany has been increasing this year, following a thaw in relations strained in the 1990s over the assassination of Iranian opposition Kurdish leaders in Berlin and the detention of a German businessman by Tehran for allegedly having sexual relations with an Iranian woman.
Mueller, who arrived in Iran last Tuesday, is also scheduled to meet with Oil Minister Bijan Zangheneh and President Mohammad Khatami and open a German exhibition at the Tehran economic fair.
Mueller is accompanied by some 60 people, the largest German delegation to Iran since the Islamic revolution of 1979, including three members of the German parliament and a number of business leaders.
His visit follows one by Khatami to Berlin in July. – (AFP)
© Agence France Presse 2000
© 2000 Mena Report (www.menareport.com )