Economy, Business And Markets

Iran-China Commission to Remove Banking Hurdles

Iran-China Commission to Remove Banking Hurdles Iran-China Commission to Remove Banking Hurdles

Minister of Economic Affairs and Finance Ali Tayyebnia, who is currently in China as the head of the Iranian delegation to the 16th session of Iran-China Economic Commission, said the complete removal of banking hurdles between the two countries was the main subject of discussion in the commission.

“One of the agendas being pursued by the joint commission is related to the expansion of cooperation and the complete removal of barriers and restrictions, especially in the banking sector,” he was quoted as saying by Exim News.

“Difficulties still remain between the banks of the two countries, but in view of the good and productive talks that have taken place so far, I hope the remaining problems will be addressed soon.”

The two-day joint commission, which opened on Tuesday, convened after more than two years, as the 15th meeting of the commission was held in February 2014 in Tehran.

According to Tayyebnia, the Iranian delegation comprising representatives of public and private sectors in the fields of economy, industry, commerce, banking and culture will work on an economic roadmap with their Chinese counterparts to strengthen ties in business dealings and joint ventures, as well as oil and banking projects.

The economy minister referred to China as one of the biggest business partners of Iran in recent years, noting that business relations between the two countries have consistently been on the rise.

“Even though the value of business dealings between the two countries has experienced a decline in the past year or two as a result of falling oil prices, bilateral dealings with China registered a consistent rise in terms of amount and volume,” he said.

China is Iran’s biggest trade partner. Bilateral trade reached $17.6 billion in the last Iranian year (ended in March), with Iran’s exports to China standing at $7.23 billion, showing a 23% decline and imports amounting for $10.45 billion, down 22%.

According to the Islamic Republic of Iran Customs Administration, 11 million tons of non-oil goods worth $2.9 billion were exported to China in the first four months of the current Iranian year (March 20-July 21), recording a 15% increase compared with last year’s corresponding period. Petrochemicals, gas condensate, minerals, saffron and carpets were among the main exports.

 Exim Bank Collaboration

On the sidelines of the Iran-China Economic Commission, a memorandum of understanding was signed between Iran’s deputy economy minister and the deputy of Export and Import Bank of China (Exim Bank).

The MoU, consisting of several sections pertaining to roads, ports, power plants, communications, industrial parks, oil and gas, healthcare, agriculture and tourism, was signed by Mohammad Khazaei and Sun Ping with the goal of facilitating finance for bilateral economic and infrastructural endeavors, while expanding joint efforts.

One of the most important aspects of this MoU was the fact that in addition to the attention paid to financing governmental schemes, plans related to the private sector managed to steal the limelight. The private sector’s schemes will be implemented after being introduced to China’s Exim Bank and going through the due process.

According to the MoU, no cap has been devised for joint projects, with the possibility of implementing feasible projects. Furthermore, any loans pertaining to these projects will be offered on a preferential basis at low-interest rates and with long repayment periods.

On Monday, another MoU was signed to boost cooperation in China’s One Belt, One Road initiative, which aims to connect China to Europe via Iran, Kazakhstan and Pakistan. The agreement was signed during the three-day Silk Road Economic Belt-Xinjiang Karamay Forum, which concluded on August 11 in the city of Karamay in China’s Xinjiang region.

Iran’s deputy minister of roads and urban development, Mohammad Javad Atrchian, along with Asadollah Asgaroladi, head of Iran-China Chamber of Commerce, attended the meeting that attracted more than 400 delegates from China, Pakistan, Iran and Kazakhstan.