German Economy Minister Werner Mueller began a three-day visit to Tehran Sunday, aimed at confirming the recent reopening of economic ties between Iran and Germany.
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.
Mueller will open the German exhibition at the Tehran's 26th international fair and is due to meet his Iranian opposite number Hossein Namazi, Oil Minister Bijan Zangeneh, and President Mohammad Khatami.
Mueller's trip follows an important visit to Germany in July by Khatami -- the first by an Iranian head of state to the country since the Shah in 1967.
That visit by Khatami marked the normalisation of bilateral ties which had been poisoned during the 1990s by the assassination of Iranian opposition Kurd leaders in Berlin and the detention of a German businessman in Tehran for allegedly having sexual relations with an Iranian woman.
According to official figures, trade volume between the two stood at $1.6 billion in 1999 -- $1.2 billion in German exports to Iran, and 0.4 billion in Iranian exports the other way.
That is around a third of the level back in 1992, but the German embassy said that in the first half of this year, German exports have risen by 24.7 percent and Iranian exports by 43.2 percent.
Germnay, which has a near monopoly in Iran on gear boxes for cars and buses, and exports tool-making and electronic equipment, is looking to broaden its trade. – (AFP)
© Agence France Presse 2000
© 2000 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)