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Iran, Spain celebrate 600 years of ties

Iran and Spain in a ceremony in Madrid on Tuesday celebrated the 600th anniversary of the establishment of ties between the two countries, IRNA reported.

Talking in the ceremony, Iran`s ambassador to Spain Morteza Alviri referred to Spain as a country which has a long record of friendly ties with Iran and enjoys a very unique position in Iran`s foreign policy among European states.

He also said because of the increasing role of Spain in international arena, all Iranians have come to the agreement to increase their relations with the country especially in economic fields.

The ambassador also believed the increase in economic and trade exchanges, banking facilities, the rising ceiling of export insurance and contribution of Spanish companies in Iran`s development projects indicate interest and firm will of both countries to promote economic relations.

He further noted that this trend of consolidation of ties between the two nations could serve as a model for developing and expanding ties between Iran and the European Union.

Alviri said expanding cultural and university relations could also pave the way for developing all-out mutual relations.

Director general of Home of Asia in Spain, in his message to the ceremony, recalled the first Spanish ambassador to the court of Iranian kings 600 hundreds ago and said the Spanish government has dedicated a scholarship every year after him to pay tribute to his memory for his services.

A similar ceremony is to he held in Tehran two weeks later.

Lack of familiarity between Iran, Spain hinders trade ties

An Spanish corporate official said in Madrid on Tuesday that inadequate familiarity of various sectors in Iran and Spain has hindered expansion of economic and trade ties between the two countries.

Managing Director of Spanish giant `Tecncias Reunidas` Manoel Valaencia speaking to IRNA on the sidelines of a seminar on dialogue among civilization in Toledo said "The two countries officials have a vital role in striving to expand awareness of the two countries capabilities."

Valaencia, who is also the head of Iran-Asia joint economic committee, said that holding cultural events is important for expansion of economic cooperation and raising mutual awareness. "Spanish private sector participation in Iran energy projects has made a cautious progress," he underlined.

The two countries foreign minister agreed in talks on Monday night to hold a seminar on identifying economic and trade opportunities in the two nations.

Kamal Kharrazi and his Spanish counterpart Anna Palacio stressed in Madrid that the seminar could have a constructive role in bolstering bilateral ties.

In order to boost bilateral trade and investments Iran and Spain have inked agreement on avoiding double taxation.

Minister of Economy and Finance Tahmasb Mazaheri and Spanish Minister of Economy Rodrigo Rato last month signed the agreement. Mazaheri told reporters that the agreement has envisaged regulations for tax-related fees on investment in both country. He said that both Iranian and Spanish companies would be subject to single tax rate on investments.

When Iranian or Spanish companies agree to undertake over 20 percent of a specific project, about five percent of the gross income is subject for tax.

"However, 10 percent of the gross income will be paid in taxes if investment is less than 20 percent of total costs of a project." He said the companies from both Iran and Spain will pay tax up to 7.5 percent of their total gross income.

Mazaheri said that the Iranian and Spanish Central Banks and the state-affiliated banks are exempt from tax in their transactions.

... Payvand News - 12/17/03 ... --

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