Chinese president to visit Iran

Tehran, Jan 5, IRNA – Vice Chairman of Iran-China Joint Business Council says Iran-China trade exchange fell 34 percent in 2015. He also said the Chinese President Xi Jinping is slated to visit Iran in the near future.

In an interview with ISNA, Majidreza Hariri said lower prices of oil, natural gas condensates, gas, iron ore, and other minerals are among the main reasons in the decline of economic exchanges between the two countries but considered plummeting oil prices to be the most effective.

“These factors have tipped the trade balance scales down in favor of China for the first time while in the past 30 years, the two countries’ trade balance has always been positive for Iran,” the official reiterated.

Hariri also announced that the Chinese President Xi Jinping is scheduled to visit Iran within a month. “During the visit, a number of memorandums will be signed in infrastructural sections such as the development of railways, ports and free trade zones,” he added.

In February 2015, Hariri told reporters the trade exchange between Iran and China had increased by 30 percent. “Iran’s trade with China has risen by 30 percent, and their economic transactions have reached $50 billion. Of course, it is possible to witness further increase in bilateral economic transactions,” Hariri said as quoted by Iran Daily.

Iran and China had planned to increase the volume of their trade transactions to $60 billion from the previous $52 billion in a year or so, as the Head of the Iran-China Joint Chamber of Commerce Asadollah Asgaroladi told reporters in March 2015.

In relevant remarks in February, Iran’s envoy in China said the country had considerably increased the volume of its trade transactions with China. 'The value of trade exchanges between Iran and China hit $52 billion in the first ten months of the current Iranian year (March 21, 2014-January 22, 2015),' Iranian Ambassador to Beijing Ali Asqar Khaji said.

Iran imports service goods for roads, power plants, petrochemicals, machineries, locomotives and wagons. China purchases Iranian gas condensates, petrochemicals, minerals, iron ore and decorative stones.

Iran’s exports to China constitute 30 percent of the country’s entire exports. China is buying half of Iran’s oil while Iran is under Western sanctions, irdiplomacy.ir said. Iran is China's third largest supplier of crude oil, supplying Beijing with roughly 12 percent of its total annual oil demand.

**1664