Tuesday, January 04, 2005

Commerce Minister Shariatmadari urges trade expansion between Islamic states

Commerce minister urges trade expansion between Islamic states: "Commerce minister urges trade expansion between Islamic states
TEHRAN, Jan. 4 (MNA) — Iran’s commerce minister urged Islamic countries to take policies for expansion of bilateral and multilateral economic ties and avoiding interference in internal affairs of one another.
“The Islamic world needs, more than ever, close cooperation of Islamic nations in both economic and political fields, Mohammad Shariatmadari added.

He pointed to the relations between Iran and Saudi Arabia over the past few years saying that “the two big nations should boost economic and trade cooperation.”

Attending a meeting with Saudi Arabian journalists, he said that the trade exchange between Iran and Saudi Arabia has increased fourfold over the past seven years. “However, there is a greater potential in this field between the two sides.”

Iran’s government has eased trade regulations to a large extend during the reform period (1996-2005). For instance, Iranian private banks and insurance companies are now allowed to be active in the mainland and the free trade zones and foreigners are allowed to be active on the issues in the FTZs only, he elaborated.

Meanwhile, the tax payable by local and foreign companies has declined to 25 percent of the profit now from 65 percent before, he cited. “The foreign currency rates have been unified too over the period.”

The meeting was held in Tehran and attended by a number of editors and editors-in-chief of the Saudi Arabian press. A number of officials from the Saudi Arabian embassy in Iran attended the meeting too."

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