Iran-Belarus trade can reach USD 1bn

Iran believes it is possible to increase trade with Belarus to USD 1 billion, Director of the Central Bank of Iran Mahmoud Bahmani said as he met with Prime Minister of Belarus Sergei Sidorsky on 26 November.

In January-September 2009 the trade between the two countries made up USD 48.1 million as against USD 98.3 million the same time last year. "The trade turnover of USD 100 million is very small; it does not meet the level of our relations. We believe the trade should reach USD 1 billion," Mahmoud Bahmani said.

According to him, cooperation in the banking area is a basis for stepping up economic relations between the two countries. A reminder, TK Bank with the Iranian capital opened in Belarus in 2008 and Onerbank with the 100% Iranian capital was opened in 2009. Mahmoud Bahmani believes that opening of these banks in Belarus will contribute to the business activity between the two countries.

"Belarus has created favorable conditions for investing what also promotes solid business links between the economic agents of the two countries," he stressed. Belarus and Iran have a lot in common. All these advantages should be used to boost trade, strengthen cooperation in various areas.

Belarus takes all necessary measures for the Iranian assets to be present in the country, negotiations are constantly held in this area, Belarusian Prime-Minister Sergei Sidorsky noted. He supported the opinion expressed by Mahmoud Bahmani that establishment of banks with Iranian assets in Belarus promotes Iranian investments in Belarus, operation of large Iranian companies in the Belarusian market, implementation of projects in the area of construction, community services, etc. Sergei Sidorsky hopes that the implementation of the planned and current projects will be more effective in future.

As of 1 January 2009, six joint and 18 Iranian enterprises were registered in Belarus. The participation of the Iranian private companies in the Belarusian projects on construction and infrastructure upgrade looks as a promising area of cooperation.

Cooperation with Iran in the area of science, research and technologies is based on the memorandum of mutual understanding in higher education, scientific and technical cooperation signed by the two countries in 1998.

Belarus and Iran also develop cooperation in education. More than 300 Iranian citizens study in the Belarusian universities.

Belarus' major exports to Iran include potash fertilizers, synthetic fiber, trucks and tractors. Belarus imports Iranian cars and spare parts, fruits.


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