Seoul determined to boost trade with Tehran to $30 billion

May 1, 2016

TEHRAN - South Korea is determined to enhance the worth of trade with Iran to $30 billion, the Korean minister of land, infrastructure, and transport Kang Ho-in told reporters after a meeting with Iranian Energy Minister Hamid Chitchian in Tehran on Saturday.

South Korea is fond of expanding its energy and water ties with Iran and the country’s state-run as well as private companies desire to find a route to the Iranian domestic market, the Energy Ministry’s website quoted the South Korean minister as saying.

Also in a Sunday meeting with Iranian Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh, the Korean official announced that his country is slated to sign a $20-billion-agreement with Iran during the South Korean President Park Geun-hye's visit to Tehran, the Shana news agency reported.

Highlighting the pivotal role that Iran can play as a bridge between Asia and Europe, the Korean senior official underlined that South Korea tries to seize Iran’s geographical location to improve bilateral relations. 

Park arrived in the Iranian capital on Sunday. Accompanied by a large business delegation, she will explore avenues for further ties with the Islamic Republic during her three-day stay. It will be the first presidential visit to Iran since South Korea and Iran established diplomatic relations in 1962.

‘Iran’s crude oil, gas condensate exports to S. Korea up 300,000 bpd’

Iran currently exports 400,000 barrels per day (bpd) of oil and gas condensate to South Korea, a 300,000 bpd rise in the post-sanction era,” Zanganeh told reports after the meeting with the Korean minister. 

Addressing the issue of the contract that will be penned with the South Korean energy minister simultaneous with President Park’s trip to Tehran, the Iranian oil minister clarified that Iran LNG project as well as the second stage of developing South Pars gas field’s phase 12, and the project of Bid Boland II Gas Refinery are among the favorites of South Koreans for future cooperation. 

According to Zanganeh, Iran seeks selling oil to the eastern Asian country and tries to attract their investments in petrochemical sector and LNG projects. “Some negotiations have been conducted in this regard and conclusions have been made,” he added.

On April 26, the Korea Times reported that South Korea intends to more than double its imports of crude oil and natural gas condensate from Iran. Seoul’s bid is aimed at ramping up energy ties with Tehran, the report said.

HJ/MA

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