Tehran, Beijing ink $4b in infrastructure projects

Iran Materials 19 July 2011 11:05 (UTC +04:00)

Iran and China on Saturday signed a series of agreements worth $4 billion for infrastructure projects as part of a broader bid to boost trade volume between the two nations.

The bilateral agreements span cooperation in water, mining, energy and industrial sectors.

As part of a $500 million deal, China agreed to provide Iran with 60 energy recovery incinerators, which are to be installed within a year in major cities and in Iran's northern tourism hub along the Caspian Sea.

China also pledged to boosts its imports of Iranian mineral products.

"China is now the leading economic partner of Iran and there are plans for increasing last year's trade volume of $30 billion to $100 billion in the future," Iranian Vice President Mohammad-Javad Mohammadizadeh said.

The agreements were signed during a visit by He Guoqiang, a senior executive of the Chinese Communist Party, who headed a delegation visiting Iran.

"Bilateral trade will reach $40 billion this year," the Chinese ambassador to Tehran told IRNA.

China and Iran have become major economic partners in recent years, partly thanks to the withdrawal of Western companies in line with sanctions against the Islamic republic over its contentious nuclear drive.

Iran seeks to triple China trade to $100 billion

Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has called for a quick increase in trade with China to $100 billion a year, IRNA reported.

He made the remarks during a visit with He Guoqiang, a senior executive of the Chinese Communist Party here on Saturday.

Current trade between the two countries is worth about $30 billion.

Beijing, which now buys about 20 percent of Iranian crude, opposes the policy of the United States and its European allies seeking to strengthen UN sanctions against Iran.