Iran, Italy agree on $5b banking credit line

December 1, 2015 - 0:0

TEHRAN – Iran and Italy have agreed to open a $5-billion credit line, in a bid to pave the way for optimal banking and economic ties between the two countries once sanctions against the Islamic Republic are lifted.

The credit line is projected to take effect one day after the implementation of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPA), a document drafted and signed by Iran and world major powers as a solution to Iran’s nuclear program.

The decision was announced in a meeting in Tehran between Central Bank of Iran Governor Valiollah Seif and an Italian trade delegation, headed by Deputy Economic Development Minister Carlo Calenda, the Tasnim news agency reported on Monday.

In the meeting, Calenda emphasized that the two sides should work in earnest to clear away present banking obstacles so as to ratchet up bilateral trade to the level it was prior to the imposition of sanctions against Iran.

Part of the Italian delegation was the flagship export credit agency Servizi Assicurativi del Commercio Estero (SACE).

According to Giovani Castellaneta, the managing director of SACE, the company is ready to provide up to €5 billion insurance coverage to mining projects in Iran.

Castellaneta underscored that SACE sees no limitation on the extent the company can insure projects in Iran and said keeping consistent contact with Iranian Mines and Mining Industries Development and Renovation Organization (IMIDRO) is important for SACE.

Iran-Italy annual trade which stood at $7 billion prior to the sanctions has dropped to around $1 billion now, according to Iran-Italy Joint Chamber of Commerce Chairman Ahmad Pourfallah.

Calenda arrived in Tehran on Saturday on the head of a trade delegation of 360 representatives of over 250 Italian companies for a two-day visit to seek new opportunities in the post-sanctions Iran.

He also said that his country intends to elevate its rank among Iran’s leading trading partners in the world from ninth to first.

Meanwhile, on Sunday, Iran and Italy signed four memorandums of understanding on trade and tourism cooperation.