Iran, Belarus sign industry & mine MOU

TEHRAN -- The third joint committee conference on industrial and mine cooperation between Iran and Belarus ended on Thursday by signing an MOU.

The Mehr News Agency reported that in the ceremony the Iranian Industry and Mines minister forecasted that political, economic and industrial relations between Tehran and Minsk will be suitable in the future, and said during the Belarusian industry minister's visit to Iran very good negotiations took place in the fields of banking, industry and mines.

Ali Akbar Mehrabian added, "The talks ended in agreements in banking cooperation, expansion of standard collaboration, opening phase two of the car manufacturing factory in Belarus, enhancing cooperation in the field of heavy mining machinery and joint university cooperation in the field of geology."

Meanwhile, Iranian Commerce Minister Mehdi Ghazanfari said Tehran is ready to sign a free trade agreement with Minsk.

The Mehr News Agency reported that in a meeting with the Belarusian industry minister, Ghazanfari highlighted the two countries' good political relations and the exchange of high-ranking political, economic and commercial delegations between the two countries, and called for the expansion of trade between the two countries.

In separate meetings with both Iranian ministers the Belarusian Minister of Industry Alexander Radovic evaluated his visit to Iran as positive and said relations between the two countries would expand in the future.

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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