West Azarbaijan Governorate Man Dir for Political and Elections Affairs Kazem Alinezhad said here Monday Iran and Turkey have lost of unused potentials for expansion of comprehensive bilateral relations, IRNA reported.
Kazemezhad made the comment in a meeting with Turkey's Consul General in Tabriz Ali Tulga Kaya, adding, "In order to expand the bilateral relations in near future the 4th Conference of Iran-Iraq Border Province Governors would be held in Turkey's Agri province, which is proof for both countries' interest in ever more expansion and deepening of relations."
He added, "The expansion of economic, commercial, and business cooperation between the two countries of Iran and Turkey is among the objectives of the Conference of Iran-Iraq Border Province Governors that is to be held on November 17th and 18th, 2012."
Alinezhad reiterated, "The presence of a high ranking Iranian delegation comprised of the vice president in international affairs and the governor general of West Azarbaijan province at that gathering is a sign of the two countries' officials' strong will for expansion of relations and cooperation with each other."
He said, "Technical and expert level discussions over various issues would be held in IRI Vice President in International Affairs Dr. Sa'eidlou's meeting with Republic of Turkey's Minister of Planning Jodat Yilmaz, and also in expert level meeting of the border province governor generals of the two countries, while the level of implementing of the formerly signed memoranda of understanding (MOU) would be surveyed."
West Azarbaijan Governorate Managing Director for Political and Elections Affairs Alinezhad expressed hope that the two countries' officials would adopt important and major decisions at that gathering, adding, "Holding such meetings, due to providing the appropriate ground for expansion of economic and business relations, as well as cultural ties, is to the benefit of both Iran and Turkey, as well as the entire region."
Turkey's Consul General in Oroumiyeh, too, emphasizing the significant importance of expansion of Iran-Turkey relations, said, "Turkey attaches great importance to expansion of its relations with Iran and the Turkish officials broadly welcome the presence of the Iranian delegation in our country."
Ali Tulga Kaya added, "The necessary harmonizing for holding this gathering at optimum level holding of this gathering would be made with the Iranian Foreign Ministry, Embassy of Republic of Turkey in Tehran, and the West Azarbaijan Province Governorate."
Iran and Turkey also have very close trade and economic relations. Both countries are founding members and key players at the Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO). Turkey receives many Iranian tourists each year and economically benefits from Iranian tourism.
Bilateral trade between the nations is increasing. In 2005, the trade increased to $4 billion from $1 billion in 2000. Iran's gas export to Turkey is likely to be increased. At present, the rate is at 50m cm/d. Turkey imports about 10 billion cubic meters a year of gas from Iran, about 30 percent of its needs. Turkey plans to invest $12 billion in developing phases 22, 23 and 24 of South Pars gas field, a senior Iranian oil official told Shana.ir. Two-way trade was in the range of $10 billion in 2010, and both governments had announced that the figure should reach the $20 billion mark in the not too distant future. 50 percent of the gas from three phases of Iran's South Pars gas field will be re-exported to Europe. Turkey has won the tender for privatization of Razi Petrochemical Complex valued at $650 million (2008). On tourism, every year one million Iranians visit Turkey.