Germany's Economy Minister is reportedly off to Iran on Sunday in a bid to tap the new trading opportunities from this week's historic nuclear deal. David Pollard looks at whether Iran could replace the business lost when sanctions were imposed on Russia over Ukraine.
The race is on. Even as this man completes one visit - to China - he's planning his next destination. Sigmar Gabriel will, it's reported, travel to Iran as early as Sunday. A bid by the German economy minister to get a first foot in the door - for lucrative new trading opportunities opened up by this week's nuclear deal between Tehran and world powers. Bill Blain of Mint Partners. (SOUNDBITE) (ENGLISH) BILL BLAIN, STRATEGIST, MINT PARTNERS, SAYING: ''In terms of who are going to be the winners, I would certainly say very positive for China, very positive for Europe as well and of course anything that's good for Europe, the Germans make sure they take their unfair share first.'' A historic deal celebrated at home too. For, it's hoped, returning Iran to the global fold. German companies plan to be in the vanguard of those seeking deals. Volkswagen and Siemens keen to reclaim a once-dominant role in exports to Iran, along with the backbone of German industry: thousands of smaller, family owned firms. Exports could leap from a 2013 low of under two billion euros to double figures within a few years. With German cars doubtless in the trade fast lane - but so too other industry heavyweights from pharmas and chemicals to energy. (SOUNDBITE) (ENGLISH) BILL BLAIN, STRATEGIST, MINT PARTNERS, SAYING: ''It's a big country. It needs transport. That means regional jets. That's good for Airbus. Germany is a big part of that - so of course is the UK and France. It's also in terms of new infrastructure: that's an area where French and German firms could do very well. New power: another area. Again, France could do particularly well there.'' In fact France is not far behind Germany. French foreign minister Laurence Fabius has confirmed he's to visit Tehran soon. Though there is stiff competition: from Chinese, Korean and Middle East and other rivals who filled the gaps left by sanctions. (SOUNDBITE) (ENGLISH) BILL BLAIN, STRATEGIST, MINT PARTNERS, SAYING: ''It's going to remain a place where entrepreneurs with a taste for the exotic and slightly more risky investment are going to start off on, but I would predict that in the long-term it's going to become a mainstream in the same way that Saudi and the Gulf previously have been.'' And that, no doubt, will draw some other powerful players into the race with Europe and Asia including the United States.