People, Travel

Chinese Group to Invest in 20 Historical Sites

Chinese Group to Invest in 20 Historical SitesChinese Group to Invest in 20 Historical Sites

The China-based Eurasian Holding Company will be entrusted with temporary management, restoration and operation of 20 Iranian historical sites, a senior official at the Revitalization and Utilization Fund for Historical Sites announced.

In an interview with Mehr News Agency, director of the fund, Mohammad Reza Pouyandeh, said Chinese entrepreneurs have expressed eagerness to invest in Iran's historical buildings and caravansaries stretched along the ancient Silk Road to promote tourism in the region.

Developing Silk Road tourism is of such importance that the UN World Tourism Organization has established the Silk Road Program to ensure its success.

The official said the 20 historical sites will be determined after thorough studies on their restoration costs and tourism potential.

The Chinese group will then be given three to six months to assess the sites and if both parties come to an agreement, a contract will be signed, granting full management rights to the Chinese and allowing them to reap its economic benefits.

"However, breaking contract, which includes inflicting damage to buildings, will void the contract, resulting in the fund reclaiming the site in question," Pouyandeh was quoted as saying by the news agency.

The agreement between the fund and the Chinese investment group is a special one, since the revitalization fund normally cedes the management of historical sites to private investors by auctioning them. However, the Chinese are guaranteed to be given 20 sites to manage without the need to go through bureaucratic hurdles.

Incorporated in August 2010, the Eurasian Holding Company is a private company limited by shares. The transnational investment holding manages multiple businesses in several CIS countries.

According to Pouyandeh, the company specializes in construction, but it has started to expand its operations into tourism.

The Silk Road is an ancient network of trade routes that for centuries were central to cultural interaction across the Asian Continent connecting the West and East from China to the Mediterranean Sea.

Located in the middle of the route, ancient Persia was one of the main trade hubs along the road, serving as a gateway between the East and West.

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