|Iran welcomes enhanced trade with Oman: Rouhani||
TEHRAN – Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has welcomed enhanced trade with Oman.
On Wednesday, Rouhani kicked off a two-day Oman visit aimed at boosting economic ties between the two countries.
In a meeting between Rouhani and Omani Sultan Qaboos, the two leaders discussed “bilateral cooperation” and “building good relations” between their countries, Oman’s official ONA news agency reported.
"We are looking forward to make Iran provide a safe environment for foreign investment and to encourage other countries invest in Iran," Rouhani said.
Rouhani also held a meeting with a number of Omani businessmen.
At the beginning of the meeting, Rouhani said maintaining close relations with the Islamic World, particularly with the neighboring countries, was his administration’s priority.
Tehran’s ambassador in Muscat, Ali Akbar Sibeveih, said ahead of the visit that Oman and Iran are seeking to expand trade, which reached $1 billion last year, as well as bilateral investments which they expect will top $10 billion by the end of this year.
Iran and Oman signed an agreement in 2009 for the construction of a 200-kilometre undersea gas pipeline linking the two countries.
"The export of gas to Oman will mark a significant economic development in the relations between the two countries," Sibeveih said, adding that excess gas, which is projected to account for 50 percent of the total amount of the gas exported to Oman, would be delivered to Japan, South Korea and India.
Iran is planning to invest $4 billion in Oman’s Duqm port, in projects that include the establishment of 100 large oil and gas tanks and an iron-smelting plant, among other projects.
It will invest a further $2 billion in two other ports - Sohar and Salalah, according to Sibeveih.
Meanwhile, Oman will invest in petrochemical, education, and oil exploitation projects in Iran worth $4 billion.
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