Iranian CB governor visits Belarus

MINSK, Nov. 25 (MNA) - Iran Central Bank governor arrived in Belarus capital, Minsk, on Wednesday to explore ways for expanding economic cooperation between the two countries.

Mahmoud Bahmani, leading a delegation is scheduled to meet with the Belarusian prime minister, economy minister, industries minister and director of the National Bank, Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting reported.

Also, the inauguration of the second Iranian bank in Belarus, named Eftekhar Bank, is on the itinerary of Bahmani's three-day visit.

Previously, IRNA news agency quoted the spokesman of the Ministry of Commerce Alireza Shojaei saying that this new bank will be opened with the aim of expanding bilateral commercial ties between Tehran and Minsk.

He added that Iranian managers will make up the main executive board of the Eftekhar bank.

Shojaei said that the bank has been funded jointly by Refah Kargaran, Saderat and Export Development Bank of Iran.

He said, "The trade volume between the two countries has doubled from 2006 to 2008."

Belarus and Iran have been pursuing closer economic ties in recent years.

According to Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, "The two countries enjoy close cooperation in various areas of transportation, energy, industry, economy and trade."

In May 2007, the two agreed to work towards deeper bilateral trade and Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko referred to his country's relationship with the Islamic Republic as a "strategic partnership."

In September 2007, The National Iranian Oil Company and Belarus National Oil Company Belarusneft signed a contract for the development of Jofeir oilfield.

In May 2009, Belarusian Deputy Prime Minister Vladimir Semashko met with Vice-Governor of the Central Bank of the Islamic Republic of Iran, Reza Raei, to enhance an oil production project in the Jofeir field, located in Southwestern Iran near the border with Iraq.

Subsequently, the Central Bank of Iran agreed to lend $212m to Belarusneft for the project.


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