‘Red-tape’ delaying China funds for Iran

Iran said on Friday that China has started the proceedings to provide funds as much as €16 billion for the development of Iran’s petrochemical projects. 

Amir Hassan Fallah, the director for investment affairs of Iran’s National Petrochemical Company (NPC), has been quoted by the media as saying that the red-tape should be largely blamed for the delay in China’s provision of financial facilities to Iran’s petrochemical projects.

Fallah said the NPC has introduced 16 projects to the Central Bank of Iran (CBI) for receiving funds from China.

He added that eight projects have already been approved by the CBI to the same effect.

Elsewhere in his remarks, the official emphasized that Iran and China have agreed for China to provide funds for Iran’s petrochemical projects three times more than the amount of oil money frozen in the country’s banks under the current regime of anti-Iran sanctions, IRNA reported.

He said the agreement was reached by the presidents of the two countries.

China reportedly owes Iran over $20 billion in outstanding oil payments. The cash has been frozen in overseas banks after the US-led sanctions made it difficult for Beijing to transfer money to Tehran. Accordingly, the two countries have reportedly reached a deal to settle a part of the frozen money through China’s funding of Iranian petrochemical projects.

Iran says it needs $31 billion to inaugurate 60 half-complete petrochemical projects. It says once the projects come on stream, they will double the country’s current annual production capacity of 60 million tons.

NPC chief Abbas She’ri-Moqaddam said in February 2015 that China has started funding several of its petrochemical projects, adding that procedures to attract funds for over a dozen more projects have also started.

She’ri-Moqaddam did not provide any figures on the amount of funds that China will provide. However, he had told the media in September 2014 that Iran has asked China to provide $13 billion for those projects.

Iran exported about 12 million tons of petrochemical products worth some $9 billion from March to December 2014. The country has already announced plans to increase its petrochemical exports to $12 billion this year.

By Press TV