TEHRAN (FNA)- The annual trade exchanges between Iran and China have exceeded $40bln in value, thanks to the two sides’ growing cooperation, Iranian Deputy Industry, Mine and Trade Minister Valiollah Afkhami Rad said on Sunday.
“The volume of the (non-oil) trade exchanges between Iran and China stood at $15.5bln in 2013 with Iran’s share amounting to $7bln and China’s share standing at $8.5bln,” Afkhami Rad said in a meeting on Iran-China economic cooperation in Tehran.
“Also, taking into account the oil exports, the trade transactions between the two countries reached $40bln which has witnessed an eye-catching growth compared with the last year,” he added.
Afkhami underlined that Tehran and Beijing should set up joint companies to be able to reach the target of $200bln trade exchanges considered by the two countries’ presidents for the next year.
In relevant remarks late February, Iranian First Vice President Eshaq Jahangiri, in a meeting with Chinese Commerce Minister Gao Hucheng in Tehran, called on Beijing to further widen economic and trade cooperation with Iran.
“We will not forget countries like China that have stood beside us in difficult times and we are interested in having China as a main trade partner of Iran,” Jahangiri said at the meeting.
The Iranian first vice president described Iran-China relations as important, strategic and growing, and said, “Expansion of ties with China has always been prioritized by the Islamic Republic of Iran.”
Jahangiri stressed that exchange of high-ranking delegations by the two countries would pave the way for the further expansion of ties, and said, “Continued contacts between the two countries’ high-ranking officials can play an effective and key role in upgrading the bilateral relations.”
The Iranian first vice president pointed to the meetings of the two countries’ joint economic cooperation commission, and said, “These meetings can play an efficient and constructive role in broadening economic ties.”
The Chinese commerce minister, for his part, pointed to the current status-quo of the Iran-China relations, and said, “The ties between Tehran and Beijing have a historical background and the two countries have had deep friendly ties since a long time ago.”
Gao said that he is visiting Iran to take part in the two countries’ joint economic cooperation commission meeting, and added, “I hope this meeting will be a step towards the expansion of ties and removal of obstacles to our mutual cooperation.”
He pointed to Iran-China mutual cooperation in the oil and gas sector, and said, “The two countries can increase their cooperation in the energy and infrastructure sectors.”
The Chinese commerce minister underlined that despite the oppressive sanctions imposed against Iran, China has always supported Iran’s key and basic interests, and said, “We are willing to expand our relations with Iran in all economic fields.”
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