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Thursday, December 02, 1999, updated at 09:15(GMT+8)
Business China, Iran Vow to Expand Economic Relations

China and Iran vowed on December 1 to work closely together to improve bilateral economic and trade relations.

At a symposium on Sino-Iranian economic and trade cooperation focusing on the next century, Chinese State Councilor Wu Yi said that there is enormous potential for bilateral cooperation in oil, natural gas, metallurgy, transportation and technology. China will help Chinese enterprises to conduct numerous business endeavors in Iran.

Iranian Vice President Mohammad Hashemi said that leaders of the two countries reached an agreement on further promoting bilateral economic and trade cooperation, adding that Iran welcomes Sino-Iranian cooperation in investment, project contracting, high technology and long term loans.

Trade volume between the two countries last year exceeded 1.2 billion US dollars, an increase of nearly 18 percent over the 1997 figure, according to Chinese Customs statistics. From January to September, trade volume was approximately 0.9 billion US dollars.

Wu and Hashemi's one-day gathering, organized by the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade and the Iranian Embassy in Beijing, is designed to develop economic and trade relations between the two countries.

Just two days ago, Wu and Hashemi co-chaired the 10th Joint Committee on Economic, Trade, Scientific and Technological Cooperation in Beijing. During the symposium, participants discussed investment, energy, transportation and telecommunication.

China imports pig iron, steel, trucks and oil from Iran while Iran imports mechanical equipment, textile and mechanical and electronic products from China.

China and Iran have also conducted cooperation successfully in coalfield exploitation and metro construction. (Xinhua)

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