Iran, Turkey review private sector cooperation

(IRNA) - An Iranian economic and trade delegation met here Monday with a group of Turkey's private sector representatives.

The two groups discussed ways of expansion of bilateral trade ties in the fields of electricity, food and household items, pharmaceuticals and project management.

Iranian ambassador to Turkey Firouz Dowlatabadi said the expansion of trade between Iran and Turkey, as two powerful countries in the region, could boost security in the area and thwart the influence of foreign powers, reports Trend.

The head of Ankara's chamber of commerce Sinan Aygon said Turkey's foreign policy is to bolster trade with its neighbors to about 60 percent of its total trade exchange.

"Currently the figure is about 25 percent," the Turkish official added.

The 10-member Iranian economic and trade delegation arrived in Ankara Monday morning includes directors of several industrial and manufacturing companies.

The volume of trade exchanges between Iran and Turkey reached more than 1.144 billion dollars during the first three months of 2006, showing a near 37 percent increase compared to figures released for the same period in the previous year.

The volume of trade exchanges between the two sides stood at 835.882 million dollars in the first three months of 2005.

According to Turkey's State Statistical Institution, Turkey exported 68.343 million dollars worth of commodities to Iran in March, 2006 alone and imported 462.056 million dollars from the country in he same month. The figures stood at 84.832 and 263.039, respectively, in March 2005.

Turkey exported 186.305 million dollars worth of goods to Iran during the first three months of 2006 and imported 957.978 million dollars, the figures pointing to an over 20 percent decrease and a 59 percent increase, respectively, compared to those in the same period in 2005.

The volume of trade exchanges between Tehran and Ankara hit 4.4 billion dollars in 2005, the figure showing an over 57.4 percent boost.

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