Iran, Belarus sign 5 co-op accords

MINSK - Five agreements were signed between officials of Iranian Mazandaran Province and Gomel Province in Belarus to enhance economic cooperation between these two regions.

Islamic Republic of Iran News Network reported on Monday that some of the agreements reached during the 4-day visit of the Iranian delegation include a 25 percent reduction of energy consumption in Bylorussian Steel Works by Iranian specialists and the exportation of Iranian technical and engineering services to that country.

Other agreements consist of the importation of heavy machinery and long-life nails lasting 100 years from Belarus to Iran, the exportation of steel sponge for ten years to Belarus from Iran and the joint production of a brand in both countries that will be exported to Europe.

Currently, joint investments by the two countries stand at $2.5 billion which is predicted to reach $3.5 billion with the implementation of these latest agreements.

In September, Iran and Belarus signed a memorandum of understanding in Minsk to set up a joint trade council.

In 2008, the bilateral trade hit $93.8 million (23.6 percent up year on year), with Iran's exports at $10.2 million. The foreign trade surplus totaled $73.5 million.

Belarus' main exports are potash fertilizers and synthetic fibers, while the main imports are cars, grapes, spare parts for automobiles and tractors.

In 2008, Iranian investments in Belarus amounted to $13.1 million, including $9.9 million in direct investments



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