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Saturday, July 16, 2011

Iran and China sign $4 billion in deals

Hard to believe that China and Iran will reach $40 billion in trade in 2011.

TEHERAN — Iran and China on Saturday signed a series of agreements worth $4 billion (€2.8 billion) for infrastructure projects as part of a broader bid to boost trade volume between the two nations, Iranian state media reported.

As part of a $500 million (€354 million) deal, China agreed to provide Iran with 60 energy recovery incinerators, which are to be installed within a year in major cities and in Iran’s northern tourism hub along the Caspian sea.

The bilateral agreements span cooperation in water, mining, energy and industrial sectors. China also pledged to boosts its imports of Iranian mineral products, state TV reported.

“China is now the leading economic partner of Iran and there are plans for increasing last year’s trade volume of $30 billion to $100 billion in the future,” Iranian vice-president Mohammad Javad Mohammadi-Zadeh told state television.

The agreements were signed during a visit by He Guoqiang, a senior executive of the Chinese Communist Party, who heads a delegation visiting Iran. He was received by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

“Bilateral trade will reach $40 billion (€28 billion) this year,” the Chinese ambassador to Teheran told IRNA recently.

China and Iran have become major economic partners in recent years, partly thanks to the withdrawal of Western companies in line with sanctions against the Islamic republic over its contentious nuclear drive.
Currency changes

Meanwhile, Iran’s central bank is asking citizens their opinions on new names for the country’s currency. Visitors to the bank’s website can choose from several names, including rial — the current name — toman, parsi and derik.

In the online survey, the bank also asks respondents how many zeros should be removed from the currency. The government has proposed lopping off four zeros. The biggest Iranian banknote is 100,000 rials, which is equivalent to around $9.

The poll results will be taken into consideration when the government draws up a draft on changes to the currency. The proposal will be submitted to parliament. Iran’s government has approved removing zeros from the currency, apparently as a result of inflation, which is officially about 14 per cent.§ion=business

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