Iran, Syria hold economic cooperation meeting
A committee meeting for the follow-up and development of Iran and Syria economic cooperation ended in Damascus on Tuesday.
This committee pursued the implementation of previously signed deals and reviewed new avenues for cooperation.
In this two-day meeting, Iranian Housing and Urban Development Minister Mohammad Saeidikia and Syrian Economic and Trade Minister Amer Husni Lutfi examined ways to boost bilateral economic ties, IRIB reported on Wednesday.
Saeideikia accentuated the establishment of an Iran-Syria joint bank which could prepare the grounds for the enhancement of annual trade between the two countries which is currently at $350 million.
He also called for the expansion of cooperation between the region's countries especially among Iran, Syria, Turkey, and Iraq, noting that connecting electric power networks, establishing gas and oil pipelines, creating rail and road transportation networks, and signing free trade MOUs between the regional countries could promote the areas economic growth.
The Iranian technical and engineering services companies in Syria have implemented 11 large economic projects worth more than $1.3 billion in their 10 years of presence in Syria.
In recent years, Syria and Iran have made plans to enhance their already significant financial cooperation.
According to Ali-Akbar Mehrabian, the Iranian minister of industries and mines, Syria and Iran already cooperate in $1.3 billion worth of industry projects with an additional $3 billion planned for the future. He explained that "our specialists have already inaugurated car production lines, cement production plants, electricity power plants, water canals, and silos in Syria," the official explained."
Syrian and Iranian cooperation also extends to the banking sector. In July 2008 the two agreed to establish a joint bank in Damascus with assets initially worth $30 million.