Baku, Azerbaijan, May 2
By Umid Niayesh - Trend:
Chinese investors are negotiating with Iran to finance about $20 billion in the country's electricity and water sector projects.
Iranian deputy minister of Energy for International Affairs, Esmail Mahsouli said that Iran and China have signed 15 contracts, worth $3 billion so far, Iran's Mehr news agency reported on May 2.
The two sides continue negotiations to finalize the remaining contracts, Mahsouli added.
So far five power plant projects, eight hydroelectric dams plan and eight projects on water transmission and drainage have been defined with the Chinese side, the official explained.
Iran's $22 billion worth of assets has been frozen in China. The country is not able to transfer its exported oil money into the country due to international sanctions.
Earlier, Iranian media outlets quoted Speaker Ali Larijani as saying he has negotiated with Chinese officials to finance some $20 billion in development projects in Iran using frozen oil money during his last visit to Beijing in October.
Iranian Tasnim News Agency reported on April 21 that Iranian Minister of the Economic Affairs and Finance Ali Tayebnia has called for establishing special trade relations between Tehran and Beijing. Tayebnia expressed hope that Chinese businesspersons will allocate a significant portion of their overseas investment to Iran.
In recent years Iran-China trade has grown steadily commensurate with China's growing reliance on foreign energy and Western companies leaving the Iranian market.
Iran exported $7.432 billion worth of non-oil exports including condensate to China during the last Iranian calendar year (ended on March 20), while importing $9.664 billion worth of goods from China.
The figures indicate increase by 34.8 percent and 18.11 percent compared to the preceding year respectively.