International Conference: Future of SMEs for Iran and Germany

„The German Mittelstand provides a constant high level of employment und productivity and is therefore the spine of the German national economy. More than 99 percent of all German corporations belong to the "German Mittelstand" and contribute virtually 55 percent to the complete economic performance. Mittelständische middle-sized corporations are innovative, successful abroad and an important job generator for young people.“

Bundesministerium für Wirtschaft und Energie

·       Definition Mittelstand: up to 50 Mio. annual turnover and up to 500 employees

·       3,3 Mio. small & middle-sized corporations

·       20 Mio. employees & 70% of all people in paid work

·       69% of all apprentices

One of the most severe upcoming issues faced by Europe’s economy is the planning, organisation and implementation of effective business succession. Companies find less and less qualified aspiring people to whom the management of the business can be passed over faithfully. Experience shows that the smaller the company, the bigger this problem is. This means, that the most affected are micro and family businesses, which in fact account for 60% of all European companies. (KMU Forschung Austria, 2008: Overview of Family Business Relevant Issues, p99)

From 21 to 23 August 2018 an International Conference in Berlin, the FHM as host sets an important milestone for the future cooperation Iran and with a focus on medium-sized companies under the title "Future of Small and Medium-sized Businesses (SMEs) for Iran and Germany" to discuss about the possible opportunities in future for these two countries with the educational (applied sciences/vocational) approach.

FHM and Iranian guests would like to learn from each other and develop joint projects with expanding its cooperation with this Iranian-German conference in Berlin.

At the invitation of Prof. Dr. Anne Dreier, President of FHM, Prof. Dr. habil. Richard Merk, CEO of FHM, Prof. Dr. Volker Wittberg, Vice-President of FHM and the conference manager Prof. Dr. Eng. Hamid Doost Mohammadian, a Professor for International Management at FHM Berlin, travelled around 40 representatives from politics, industry, business and the academic sector from Iran and also well-known politicians and persons from Germany to the Akademie Berlin-Schmöckwitz.

At first Prof. Dr. Hamid Doost Mohammadian introduced all guests and hosts.

After the welcoming words of FHM host Prof. Dr. Anne Dreier as president of FHM to the Guests, she said me and Prof. Dr. habil. Richard Merk as CEO of FHM would like to take the opportunity to handle over the official letter from the ministry of Science and Culture in Germany for Prof. Dr. Hamid Doost Mohammadian who is a youngest professor now at FHM University.

The Iranian Ambassador in Berlin Dr. Ali Majedi greeted the conference. He opens in his introductory speech and emphasizes the importance of a partnership between Iran and Germany in past, now and in the future. As an entrepreneur, politician, University Professor and former Interior Vice Minister, Dr. Gholamhossein Bolandian, said that business and politics should interact in a sustainable way and this across borders. This is a challenge, but it is essential for the development of joint educational projects.

The opening words of FHM host Prof. Dr. Anne Dreier and Prof. Dr. habil. Richard Merk underlined the framework of the conference "To learn from each other and develop projects together with a focus on SMEs" As a concrete example, PSP program, Bachelor, Master, PhD , dual and triple study programs, language programs, TELC test, professional programs and further education programs will be developed and continued in cooperation.

Marcus Dreischer, Sales Director of the company Nirotech GmbH & Co. KG gave a practical insight into already practiced Iranian-German cooperation. In the form of a business lecture on intercultural business relations, he highlighted success factors for successful communication.

In total, the following speakers were represented at the Iranian-German conference: Kerstin Vieregge MP, German Bundestag, Dr. Gholamhossein Bolandian, Former Vice Interior Minister, CEO of Pars Gostaran and Professor of Islamic Azad University (IAU), Abdolkarim Geravand, Bushehr Governor, Prof. Dr. Hamid Sarabzi Azad, Head of IPM Computer School and Professor at Sharif University of Technology, Iran, Prof. Dr. Volker Wittberg, Vice Rector Research & Development, FHM, Prof. Dr. Hamid Doost Mohammadian, Director of International Management, Iran Representative and Conference Manager, FHM, Matthias Schäfer, Konrad Adenauer Foundation, Berlin, Dr. Mohammad Vatandoust, CEO of Bushehr Polymer Industrial Group, Dr. Hadi Shahriar Shahhouseini, Vice Chancellor for International Affairs, Iran University of Science and Technology (IUST), Dr. Abdolfazl Kiani, Managing Director, Industrial Management Institute (IMI), Prof. Dr. Iraj Mahdavi, Professor, Industrial Engineering, President, Mazandaran University of Science & Technology, Dr. Ali Mohammad Nikbakht, Director of Economic Activities Office, Urmia University, Prof. Dr. Hans-Jörg Dietsche, Ministerialrat, FHM Honorary Professor of Law and Sustainable Legislation, Friedel Heuwinkel, Director Institute for Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises (IfM), District Administrator a.D.

The input from the speakers has provided a great basis for discussion and provided information-wisdom knowledge. The main objective of this conference was to bring together the global management of SMEs as well as partners from Iran and Germany under one roof. A great benefit was the open dialogues, the possibility of networking and the discussion of the issues affecting both countries.

The international conference further strengthened the relationship between Iran and FHM, established collaborations and opened up new perspectives and solutions for the future of SMEs for both countries. In addition, the Bushehr Governor Mr. Gravand has already announced the next international conference and invited all guests, which is expected to take place in autumn / winter 2018 in Bushehr, Iran.

Conference conclusions:

1.     The importancy of „Mittelstand“ in Iran and Germany

2.     The FHM secrets to get success, Success key for FHM

3.     Getting support from polititions from both sides

4.     The FHM is the solution for Iranian market, industrial and the academic sector

5.     Sustainable factors for SMEs have to be balanced

6.     More than 99 per cent of all German corporations belong to the "German Mittelstand" and contribute virtually 55 per cent to the complete economic performance.

7.     FHM Dual programmes, triple programmes, vocational trainings and applied sciences

8.     Importancy of infrastructures and ressources

9.     Bushehr Province as a pilot project for FHM and Iran

10.   Technical projects, research projects and developing projects

11.  Social market, social system and entrepreneurship

12.  Bushehr Polymer Industrial Group as a active partner in south of Iran

13.  Exploitation & Exploration

14.  Iranian German business culture

15.  Iran University of Science and Technology (IUST) as an academic leading house between Iran and Germany

16.  SME and economy development in Iran

17.  The role of education in SMEs

18.  Getting pattern from German SMEs success and customize for Iran and Getting feedback from Iranian SME experience

19.  Sanctions, Innovation under restrictions

20.  Creating one SME expert group

21.  FHM and IMI will set up a MBA and Professional Post-Doctoral Program in Global SME Management

22.  Other challenges and solutions



Dr. Hamid Doost Mohammadian is getting the Professor-Titel.