Iran urges expansion of economic ties with Europe

GMT 14:47 2014 Saturday ,26 July

Arab Today, arab today Iran urges expansion of economic ties with Europe

Italian Foreign Affairs Ministry Andrea Meloni
Tehran - XINHUA

Iran is keen on expanding its ties with the European countries at the dawn of new atmosphere and reduction of sanctions against the country, especially in the banking and industrial sectors, Tehran Times daily reported on Saturday.
Italy has been leading the drive in recent months to re-enter the Iranian market as EU sanctions against Iran have been eased, the Iranian presidential chief of staff Mohammad Nahavandian said in a meeting with the visiting director general for Promotion Department of Italian Foreign Affairs Ministry Andrea Meloni here on Thursday.
Meloni is heading a business delegation comprised of managers from both Italian state-run and private economic enterprises.
Italy has potential to expand services to Iran in the food, machinery and renewable energy sectors, Nahavandian was quoted as saying.
Iran offers special facilities such as long-term tax exemption and visa-free travel to attract foreign investors to its free and special economic zones, the director of Trade Promotion Organization of Iran Valiollah Afkhami-Rad said in another meeting with Meloni.
Also, Iranian automotive sector is ready to launch joint ventures with Italian partners, Afkhami-Rad said.
According to Iran Customs Administration, the Islamic republic exported 200.69 million dollars worth of non-oil goods to Italy and imported 849.33 million dollars worth of non-oil goods from the European country in the previous Iranian calendar year, which ended on March 20, 2014.
Annual trade between the two countries grew notably since 2002, reaching its peak of 9.7 billion dollars in 2011, according to the Italian-Iranian chamber of commerce.
However, after the European Union's decision of widening commercial sanctions against Iran, the bilateral trade in the first eleven months of 2012 was almost halved to 4.8 billion dollars. Italy still remains Iran's top European trade partner.
At a meeting with the visiting Italian Foreign Minister Emma Bonino last December, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said Italy should maintain its role as a gateway for Iran to interact with Europe.
Besides, officials from Iran and Iceland have underscored the need for promotion of bilateral economic relations between the two countries, Press TV reported on Saturday.
At a Friday meeting, Valiollah Afkhami-Rad and Iceland's Accredited Ambassador to Tehran Gunnar Palsson explored avenues for expanding mutual economic ties.
The new atmosphere and reduction of sanctions against the country have positively affected Tehran's interactions with other countries, Afkhami-Rad said, pointing to the policy of the administration of Rouhani to expand Iran's relations with world nations, and Europe in particular.
He also referred to the potentials of Iran-Iceland cooperation, including scientific collaboration in fisheries, hydro-electric power, green energies, geology and tourism.
Palsson, for his part, invited Iran's business delegation to participate at a fisheries exhibition to be held in the capital city of Reykjavik on September 25.

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