International payments problems block Dutch trade opportunities in Iran: Report

Henk Kamp (Photo: Commons). (Henk Kamp (Photo: Commons))

The Netherlands is currently on its second trade mission to Iran in a short time. Minister Henk Kamp of Economic Affairs sees many opportunities for Dutch companies in the Arabic country. Though Iran's significant problems with making international payments remains an obstacle, NOS reports.

"There is in Iran a great need for knowledge about oil and gas, but also for sustainable technology and water management are in demand", according to Kamp. The Netherlands can provide the needed knowledge on all these fields.

Most sanctions against Iran lapsed when the country signed an agreement about nuclear power technologies. But one that remains in place is causing major problems in doing business with the country - the United States sees Iran as a terrorism sponsor because of its support for the Hezbollah movement. Which means that companies that trade with Iran can be punished in the U.S, according to NOS.

This remaining sanction resulted in a 6 billion euros fine for French bank BNP Paribas, because the bank participated in an international deal with Iran. As a result, many international banks don't want to do business with the country, thereby making payments pretty much impossible.

Minister Kamp has 250 million euros available as a credit guarantee for Dutch companies that are currently making deals in Iran. That money is intended to help counteract payment problems. Though it is only a temporary solution, according to the broadcaster.