Wednesday, 29 September 2010

Iran ready to set up economic bloc

Iran says it is ready to hold a meeting with the economy ministers of Syria, Iraq, and Turkey to discuss setting up an economic bloc in the region. Iran's Minister of Economic Affairs and Finance Shamseddin Hosseini made the remarks in a meeting with Syrian Economy and Trade Minister Lamia Assi in Tehran on 28th August.

Hosseini expressed hope that the neighbouring states would increase their economic ties in an effort to form a regional bloc in the Middle East, Mehr news agency reported. The minister added that Iranian and Syrian officials plan to discuss setting up a joint investment company and the expansion of banking and insurance cooperation within two months. Assi welcomed further economic ties with Iran.

The talks came as Tehran signed a draft agreement in mid-August on free trade with Syria. The Iranian minister said that under the agreement, all existing tariffs would be reduced to 4 per cent within five years, adding that the deal does not interfere with economic co-operation with other states.

For more news and expert analysis about Iran, please see Iran Strategic Focus.

© 2010 Menas Associates

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