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EghtesadOnline: Austria intends to expand business ties with Iran, therefore the European country endeavors to normalize banking relations between the two countries, the Austrian ambassador to Iran said.

“A number of Austrian banks are already active in Iran, but easing mutual trade and financing investment projects need stronger banking relations,” Friedrich Stift was also quoted as saying by IRNA.

When the Tehran-Vienna business development conference was held in Tehran Chamber of Commerce, Industries, Mines and Agriculture on Monday, the Austrian delegation, comprising representatives of 30 companies active in environment, tourism, health, construction, information technology, oil and gas, renewable energies and water sectors, shared ideas with Iranian companies.

The Austrian ambassador said the €1 billion ($910 million) credit line, which is meant to finance joint investments with Iran, is going to increase. President of Vienna Chamber of Commerce and Industries, Walter Ruck, who also attended the conference, said his goal of coming to Iran is to resolve banking hurdles and noted that formidable banking relations are necessary to expand business ties, according to Financial Tribune.

“Austria’s government will soon utilize all tools to encourage top Austrian banks to establish strong relations with Iran,” he added. After the conference, an agreement was signed between 

the two sides for expanding close business ties, Ruck said, “In the agreement, both sides identified the sectors in which they would like to expand relations. Austria has sent high-ranking officials to Iran on multiple occasions after the implementation of the Joint Comprehensive plan of Action (the formal name of Iran’s nuclear agreement with world powers) and also hosted an Iranian business delegation to Austria.

According to Iran’s Customs Administration statistics, Iran-Austria trade dropped to $312 million in 2015 from $818 million in 2012 as a result of the sanctions, but the figure increased to $343 million by the end of 2016, which shows an upward trend in trade after the implementation of JCPOA. The statistics show Iran-Austria trade in four years to June 2015 stood at $2.25 billion and Iran’s imports accounted for 98.2% of the total sum.

The main commodities Iran exported to Austria are agricultural products and carpets while it imported industrial machinery, computers, home appliances, railroad equipment, pharmaceuticals and medical equipment.

Iran Banking Iran-Austria ties Iran-Austria trade