Iran, Azerbaijan agree on banking cooperation

TEHRAN, Mar. 05 (MNA) – The economy ministers of Iran and Azerbaijan have reached an agreement on concluding a bilateral monetary, financial and banking agreement, developing mutual economic cooperation, especially on the completion of international North–South Transport Corridor project.

Iranian Minister of Economic Affairs and Finance (MEAF) Farhad Dejpasand met and held talks with Shahin Mustafayev, Minister of the Economy and Industry of the Republic of Azerbaijan in Tehran on Tuesday.

Dejpasand stressed that Iran always considers development of relations with its neighbors, especially Azerbaijan Republic, as one of its strategic policies.

Azerbaijan has a special place in the foreign policy of Iran as it could be witnessed through the numerous meetings between the two countries' presidents over the past five years, the Iranian minister said.

Referring to the insufficient speed of the progress of some joint projects between Iran and Azerbaijan, including the final stages of the Rasht-Astara railway project, Dejpasand proposed to create a special group to monitor the implementation of the agreements signed between the two countries, a suggestion that was welcomed by the Azerbaijani side.

The Iranian economy minister also called for signing a bilateral monetary and financial agreement and the development of banking cooperation between Iran and Azerbaijan, saying that the cooperation in economic field should be at the same level as the political relations between the two countries.

The Azerbaijani Minister of Economy Shahin Mustafayev, for his part, expressed readiness to sign a monetary and banking agreement as well as to cooperate more on completing the remaining parts of the Rasht-Astara railway project.

Mustafayev also referred to a 74% increase in trade between the two countries last year, putting the value of the bilateral trade at $450 million, while saying that of a total $450 million, $420 was the value of the Iranian exports to Azerbaijan. He furthermore called for increasing bilateral trade to new levels.

He also underlined the full support of the Azerbaijani government to the Iranian investors in his country, saying that an Iranian car company there has reached the desirable profit-making level.

The Azerbaijani minister further added that his country is trying to conclude a new contract with Iranian companies for production of buses there.

“Azerbaijan's support for Iranian companies and its serious determination to develop cooperation with Iran may be unacceptable to some governments, but as an independent country, we are determined to develop relations with Iran,” Mustafayev further noted.

KI/IRN83232666

News Code 143136

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