Swiss Firms Preparing to Quit Iranian Market Over US Sanctions Risks
EghtesadOnline: Several Swiss newspapers on Sunday reported that Swiss firms in Iran have stopped making new business contracts since two weeks ago.
Sharif Nezam-Mafi, chairman of Swiss-Iranian Chamber of Commerce, said several Swiss firms were about to close their subsidiaries in Iran.
He apparently met representatives of major Swiss companies in Tehran recently. However, it is not clear how Swiss companies, notably from the engineering, pharmaceutical, commodity and service sectors, would be affected by the US policy, Swissinfo reported.
Observers say the Swiss business community hopes to be protected in some form by European Union efforts to shield businesses from the impact of US measures, following US President Donald Trump’s decision earlier this month to pull out of a nuclear accord with Tehran, Financial Tribune reported.
A Swiss delegation is expected to travel to Tehran next month to discuss further steps in boosting bilateral ties as agreed in 2016, a foreign ministry spokesman was quoted as saying in the Handelszeitung newspaper quoted last week.
Switzerland has invited the Iranian President Hassan Rouhani to a state visit this year but no official date has been announced.
The Handelszeitung says Swiss exports to Iran are worth CHF530 million ($530 million), marking a 40% increase over 2015 when Iran agreed a long-term deal on its nuclear program with the US, Britain, France, China, Russia and Germany.