Envoy Highlights Iran-Belarus Cooperation Potential

TEHRAN (FNA)- Iran's Ambassador to Belarus Seyed Abdollah Hosseini said Tehran and Minsk enjoy extraordinary cooperation potential, and called on Iranian traders and investors to boost their economic activities in Belarus as a lucrative market for Iranian products.

"The capacity for cooperation between Tehran and Minsk is potentially extraordinary and Belarus is an exceptional, and in the meantime, unknown opportunity for our country," Hosseini told FNA.

"At present the two countries cooperate in six to seven areas and these fields of cooperation would grow to fifteen according to the plans," he added.

The envoy said that Belarusian president plans to pay a visit to Tehran in July concurrent with the inauguration of Jofeyr oil project in southwestern Iran in a move to further bolster the two countries' economic cooperation.

"We will witness growth in mutual cooperation in the different spheres, including trade and commerce, auto-manufacturing, industry, energy and the like as well as efforts to further pave the way for expanded cooperation in other areas during the upcoming visit to Iran by the Belarus President," he mentioned.

Tehran and Minsk have in recent months increased efforts to start a jump in mutual cooperation.

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said in December that Tehran and Minsk were laying the foundations for broader ties and intended to promote relations to the highest possible level.

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad who was meeting with Belarusian Industry Minister, Anatoliy Rusetskiy in Tehran, called for expansion of bilateral ties to the maximum level, saying the obstacles to the strengthening of relations need to be removed immediately.

Rusetskiy, for his part, said that strategic ties had been established between the two countries and that the prospects were promising in line with the interests of the two nations.

Also Belarusian Prime Minister Sergey Sidorskiy in a meeting with Iran's Central Bank Governor Mahmoud Bahmani in November urged the Iranian side to increase the volume of trade cooperation with Minsk.

Noting that the current volume of economic cooperation between Tehran and Minsk stands at about $100mln, Sidorskiy reiterated that the opening of the second Iranian Bank in Belarus should help boost the volume to $1bln.

The National Bank of Belarus registered two Iranian banks, namely the 'Onerbank' and 'Trading Capital Bank (TC Bank)', respectively in October 2009 and December 2008.

The Belarusian official also expressed satisfaction over his country's joint investment with Iran in the car industry as well as oil, petrochemical and development projects.

Iran and Belarus have recently widened their areas of economic cooperation. The two countries signed a Memorandum of Understanding on road transportation cooperation in March.

The two countries also announced in March that they plan to establish a join trading company to help expand their bilateral ties and exchanges.


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