Italy affirms readiness to invest in Iran

Oct 23, 2009 02:00 AM

Iran-Italy Chamber of Commerce announced Italian business sector's willingness to increase investments in various industrial and commercial fields in Iran.
Iran-Italy Chamber of Commerce Secretary, Pier Luigi d'Agata stated that trade relations between the two countries is very good. He said despite the global financial crisis Italy is Iran's number one trade partner in the EU with EUR 6 bn transactions.

D'Agata stated the conference "Work and Investment Opportunities in Iran for Italian Companies" which was held in Italy with over 120 businessmen was a great success and showed the importance of the Iranian market for Italian firms.
Italy traded more with Iran than any other member of the EU in 2007; bilateral trade between the two totalled well over $ 7.5 bn. Much of Italy's trade with Iran comes from investments made by Italy's energy company, ENI, in Iran's oil and gas reserves. Beyond cooperation over hydrocarbon extraction, Italy and Iran have cooperated in the commercial industry.

Iran has expressed interest in increasing its cooperation with Italy's banking sector, but the extensive UN Security Council and EU sanctions would hamper any potential banking cooperation between the two. Despite extensive sanctions against Iran's nuclear program, many of which Italy has voted in favour of both in the UN and the European Union, Italy continues to be a strong bilateral trade partner of the Islamic Republic.
In March 2009, Italian Ambassador to Tehran Alberto Bradanini called on Iran and Italy to expand economic cooperation; Bradanini noted that the Persian Gulf Mining & Metal Industries Special Zone was a major possible centre of future foreign investment.

In April 2009, former Iranian Oil Minister Gholam Hossein Nozari announced the beginning of studies on the construction of a new gas pipeline between Iran and Europe, which would link Iran to Italy and Greece.
In July 2009, Iran's oil ministry signed an agreement with an unnamed Italian firm to aid in Phase 12 of the development of the South Pars gas field.

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