TEHRAN -- The spokesman of the Ministry of Commerce stated that the second Iranian bank named "Eftekhar" (honor) will be inaugurated in Belarus in November.
IRNA quoted Alireza Shojaei saying that this new bank will be opened with the aim of expanding the bilateral commercial ties between Tehran and Minsk by offering banking and financial services.
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.
"The establishment of this bank will certainly have a great impact on creating a suitable environment for expanding business relations and developing cooperation and offering trade facilities to exporters," he added.
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 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 Belarussian President Alexander Lukashenko referred to his country's relationship with the Islamic Republic as a "strategic partnership."
In May 2009, Belarussian Deputy PM 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 Belarussian state-run oil company Belarusneft for the development of Jofeir oil field.