Iran, Syria to broaden economic cooperation

November 19, 2006
DAMASCUS (IRNA) -- Second Iran-Syria Joint Economic Committee meeting kicks off on Tuesday in Damascus.

The joint meeting is held every six months in Tehran and Damascus alternately.

Iran's Minister of Housing and Urban Development Mohammad Saeedikia and Syrian Minister of Economic and Trade Amir Husni Lutfi jointly chaired the meeting.

Businessmen and traders from both sides were also present in the meeting.

At the meeting, the two sides reviewed expansion of mutual economic cooperation and explored avenues for further development of commercial ties.

The two sides underlined the need to implement agreements on preferential tariffs to facilitate trade exchange and shipment between the two countries, and form a committee to follow up decisions made by the two sides' economists.

The Iranian minister underlined the need to further increase current level of economic cooperation in proportion to excellent political ties between the two countries and voiced the readiness of Iranian companies to jointly implement economic and commercial projects in both countries.

Bolstering of economic cooperation along with existing friendly ties between the two countries would prevent interference of enemies, he said.

Iran-Syrian Joint Economic Commission meetings prepare the ground for further promotion of economic and technical cooperation between the two countries.

The Syrian minister, for his part, said Syria has recently ratified rules and regulations to help promote economic ties between the two sides.

The Iranian minister is to confer with a number of senior Syrian officials to study expansion of economic cooperation between the two countries.

The Iranian minister and his entourage are to inspect a number projects now being implemented by Iranian experts in Syria.

The volume of Iran's investments in Syria stands at about $750 million.

Exchange of goods between the two sides stood at $100 million last year.

The two sides’ economic officials predicted that the value of trade exchanges between the two countries would hit three billion dollars in the future.