He told IRNA that in the said period Italy imported dlrs 2.08 billion worth of goods from Iran.
The official said that Italy in turn exported dlrs 670 million worth of goods to Iran.
Therefore, Italy's imports from Iran constituted more than 75 percent of the total commercial transactions between the two countries in the January-November period.
Italy imported about dlrs 1.84 billion worth of crude oil from Iran in the first 11 months of the year. The amount made up 88.3 percent of Italy's imports from Iran and 69 percent of bilateral trade in the first eleven months of last year.
There was a trade imbalance between Iran and Italy during the period under study.
Livestock products such as pickled hide and cow hides constituted about 31 percent, or 168 billion liras of Italy's imports from Iran, textiles 84 billion liras and agricultural as well as horticultural products 45 billion liras.
Further, Italy exported 1,390 billion liras worth of goods, including machinery and equipment for power generation and consumption, machinery for special purposes, basic chemical products and fittings, to Iran in the period under study.
The total weight of goods exchanged between Iran and Italy stood at 9.8 million tons, including 9.6 millio tons of goods exported to Italy by Iran.
Talks by the two officials focused on the promotion of bilateral ties particularly in the areas of small- and medium-size industries as well as on preparing the ground for an exchange of expert manpower by the two countries.
Both Habibi and Amato also called for exchange of technology and knowhow and stressed the need for mutual cooperation in the area of research.
During the meeting also attended by the Iranian minister of industries and mines who is the head of the two countries' joint commission, Habibi underlined the need for support and insurance coverage for Italian and non-Italian companies who win tenders to undertake construction of power plants in Iran.
Meanwhile, the Italian premier, after talks with President Mohammad Khatami, attended a news conference on Saturday night.
On his talks with the Iranian president, Amato said that issues of mutual interest were reviewed during the meeting.
On the reform process in Iran, he said that the trend should be continued as it will bring economic development for the Islamic Republic. He said Rome is ready to effectively cooperate with Iran to help in the process.
Praising the economic development of the country, Amato said that a special relation has been established between Rome and Tehran.
As to the issue of Palestine and regional development, he stressed that Tehran is interested in pursuing peace and stability for the entire region. "Italy supports policies that help establish regional peace," he added.
Asked to comment on the opposition allegedly raised by the Italian parliament to his visit to Tehran, Amato said that some representatives in the Italian parliament were indeed against his visit to the Islamic Republic, but that he made the visit just the same and this was his answer to their objection.
In response to a question as to why his visit to Tehran was so short, he said that it was originally scheduled for two days but that due to some problems in his working commitment it had to be shortened.
Amato, who arrived here on Saturday afternoon for a working visit, left the country last night.
The visit was said to be in line with the regular exchange of visits between senior Iranian and Italian officials.
Latest developments in Tehran-Rome bilateral cooperation as well as in the international and regional level were top on the agenda of the talks held between the Italian premier and the Iranian senior officials.
Habibi on Saturday accorded a formal welcome to the Italian premier at Sa'adabad Cultural Complex in northern Tehran.
Amato's visit follows last week's visit to Iran by Italian Minister of Industry, Commerce and Handicrafts Enrico Letta.
Relations between Iran and Italy have grown markedly since President Khatami took office in 1997.
The Iranian president made a state visit to Italy in March 1999, his first to a European country since assuming office.
President Khatami referred to the Italian prime minister's trip to Iran at the beginning of the Year for Dialogue Among Civilizations as a new chapter in the relations between the two ancient civilizations of Iran and Rome.
The President added, "the Islamic Republic of Iran warmly shakes the hands of all the countries that ask for broader political, scientific, economic and cultural relations with us in the framework of mutual respect and safeguarding of both countries' national interests, and in order to achieve our prominent position at the global scene."
Referring to the excellent international prestige and status of both countries that are each the cradle of a great and prolific civilization, President Khatami announced Tehran's readiness to expand comprehensive relations with Rome on an ever accelerating trend.
The Iranian President referred to the social and political stability, young population that is excellent at various technical fields, fine position for transit purposes, and the national and political will of the Iranians for development in their country, as the positive factors that any partner of Iran could easily rely on.
President Khatami said, "these factors ensure huge benefits and bonuses for the political, economic and industrial partners of Iran."
Referring to the record of the two countries' relations in various fields, the President expressed satisfaction that Italy is today one of the major partners of the Islamic Republic of Iran at global scenes.
The President further stressed the need for safeguarding humanitarian values and particularly democracy at global level, reiterating, "democracy must be safeguarded at international level and the world nations should enjoy equal rights."
He asked for a drastic reform in the structure of the UN Security Council, which is, "the shared and righteous demand of both Iran and the European Union. "Iran favors the permanent presence of the EU and the I.R of Iran and the SC," said Khatami.
The President referred to terrorism and smuggling of narcotic drugs as two major issues with which Iran has long been entangled and the monetary and human losses that Iran has suffered from in these fields so far, criticizing the European countries for their weak and insufficient support in such costly humanitarian fields.
He added, "we strongly expect the EU to cooperate with our plans and support them in changing the plantation of puppy fields in Afghanistan into other useful agricultural products."
Elsewhere in his remarks, the Iranian President pointed out that the most essential prerequisite for achieving an honorable and lasting peace in the Middle East is international recognition of the denied rights of the oppressed Palestinian nation.
He also referred to the current tense atmosphere prevailing at the Persian Gulf region, stressing that Iran believes the security of that sensitive strategic region can be restored and safeguarded only through close cooperation among regional countries.
The Italian Prime Minister Giuliano Amato, too, referred to the rich historical background of Iran and the history of the two countries' excellent relations, expressing his country's political will to improve the level of bilateral relations in all possible fields.
Referring to the experience of religious democracy in Iran, Amato said, "the western democracy is quite different with your Islamic democracy here, asking for cultural and civilizational exchange of views aimed at reaching a mutual understanding in this regard.
The Italian prime minister expressed his government's political will to have a strong presence at the scenes of political and economic development in Iran. He also emphasized that Italy is highly interested in establishment of joint industrial firms with Iran and to seek Iran's assistance in having a stronger presence at Iranian and International markets thorough making investments in small and medium size industries of Iran.
Amamto praised Iran's severe fight against narcotic drugs trafficking, arguing, "our two countries' stands on this issue are pretty close to each other." He then cited Italy's full agreement with Iran that puppy plantation must give way to other useful agricultural products in Afghanistan.
He referred to the recent meeting between the foreign ministers of the two countries during which they have reached comprehensive agreements on the methods of fighting against international terrorism and combatting narcotic drugs smuggling, arguing that adoption of such joint stands means that the world countries are reaching joint status on such critical international problems, which will guarantee the interests of all.
The Italian prime minister also agreed with the Iranian President in his brilliant proposal for permanent membership of the EU and Iran at the UN Security Council.
... Payvand News - 2/25/01 ... --