Economy, Business And Markets

South Korea to Finance Construction of 3 Hospitals in Iran

South Korea to Finance Construction of 3 Hospitals in IranSouth Korea to Finance Construction of 3 Hospitals in Iran

South Korea has agreed to finance the construction of three hospitals in Iran, said Iranian Health Minister Hassan Qazizadeh Hashemi on Thursday upon arrival at the Incheon International Airport in the South Korean capital Seoul.

"This is a good opportunity for Iran to attract investments by the South Korean banks to generate employment in the country," he was quoted as saying by IRNA.

According to the minister, South Korea is interested in engaging with Iran.

"South Korea has made great achievements in the healthcare and medical sectors, and it can share its expertise with Iran in this sphere," he added.

He hoped that the private sectors of the two countries will make the maximum use of the opportunity provided by cooperation between the two states.

Hashemi is visiting Seoul at the invitation of his South Korean counterpart Chin Young.

During his three-day stay in the southeast Asian country, he is expected to take part in a conference on promoting medical and healthcare cooperation, pay a visit to a hospital, attend a Samsung medical and healthcare products fair in Seoul and a meeting with Young.

Iran signed its biggest credit line deal in recent years with South Korea’s Eximbank in August 2017. The deal envisages as much as €8 billion in loans provided by South Korean companies to finance projects in Iran.

South Korean Ambassador to Iran Kim Seung-ho said Seoul is shifting focus from trade to investment in Iran.

“The Iranian and Korean companies should apply their common projects to Korea’s Eximbank. Then the bank reviews if the project is really profitable or not,” he told Mehr News Agency in an earlier interview.

South Korea has increased its commercial exchanges with Iran after Tehran signed the nuclear deal with world powers in 2015.

Last Iranian year (March 2016-17), bilateral trade reached the highest level of $6.33 billion over the past 10 years. 

According to the latest data of the Islamic Republic of Iran Customs Administration, Iran exported $2.44 billion worth of commodities to South Korea during the seven months to Oct. 22, registering a remarkable increase of 25.13% compared with last year's corresponding period. 

Imports witnessed a 2.13% year-on-year decrease to stand at $1.84 billion. Should the current trend in bilateral trade continue, the two countries will see a record high of more than $7 billion by the yearend.

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