Caracas, Dec 3, IRNA-Iran and Venezuela signed on Friday some 21 memoranda of understanding (MoUs) on expansion of mutual cooperation during the third Iran-Venezuela Joint Economic Commission meeting.
Iran's Minister of Industries and Mines, Ali-Reza Tahmasbi heading high ranking Iranian delegation signed the MoUs in his meeting with Venezuelan Minister of Basic Industries and Mines Victor Alvarez.
The MoUs envision expansion of cooperation in gas, petrochemical, and aluminum fields, construction of a brick factory and of a second cement factory in Venezuela by Iranian contractors, establishment of bank branches in both countries, construction of a flour factory, dairies, cooling industries, plastic auto parts, irrigation systems, detergents, ceramics, food packaging, and bread baking.
With the newly signed agreements, the number of MoUs inked by the two countries reached 50 in the past one year.
As per agreement reached between the two countries, the jointly run tractor manufacturing company is to produce some 4,000 tractors per year.
Construction of a cement factory with a capacity of one million tons to provide cement for construction of 10,000 houses was recently finished by Iranian contractors.
The volume of trade exchange between Iran and Venezuela stands about dlrs 800 million per year.
Iran begins construction of 10,000 residential units in Venezuela
Madrid, Dec 3, IRNA-The first phase of an Iranian project to construct 10,000 residential units in Venezuela kicked off with a ceremony attended by visiting Iranian Minister of Industries and Mines Ali-Reza Tahmasbi and Venezuelan Ministers of Basic Industry and Mining Victor Alvarez and Housing and Habitat Daniel Figuroa in the province of Managas on Friday.
The first phase of the project includes construction of 2,500 residential units and government-run facilities such as schools, hospitals and gymnasiums.
The construction of 10,000 units is to be completed in four phases within a four-year period.
The agreement covering the project was signed during a visit by former Iranian president Mohammad Khatami to Caracas last year.
Iran and Venezuela have so far signed 26 documents for cooperation. Total Iranian investment in Venezuela as indicated in various agreements is estimated at some 800 million dollars.
The visiting Iranian minister of industries and mines told his host the government of newly elected Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad attaches importance to bolstering ties with Latin American states, particularly Venezuela.
Meanwhile, the Venezuelan minister of basic industry and mining remarked on Friday that the daily production capacity of Iran's Tractor Assemby Plant in Venezuela would be increased by three times.
Alvarez was speaking to his Iranian counterpart, Tahmasbi, during the latter's visit to the factory, located in the state of Bolivar, 720 kilometers from the Venezuelan capital Caracas.
He said the factory's current daily production of eight tractors will be increased to 24. The factory has an annual production capacity of 4,000 tractors and was established on a joint investment of 35 million dollars by Iran and Venezuela. It currently assembles tractor spare parts imported from Iran but has plans of producing certain tractor parts in Venezuela in the near future.
Iranian Minister of Industries and Mines Tahmasbi Ali-Reza Tahmasbi, addressing the 3rd Iran-Venezuela Joint Commission session, proposed establishment of branches of Iranian and Venezuelan banks in their respective territories to facilitate transfer of financial resources and implementation of joint projects. His proposal was welcomed by the Venezuelan officials.
Tahmasbi also voiced Iran's interest in boosting trade exchanges with Venezuela and highlighted the importance of opening new areas for bilateral cooperation.
Venezuela's Alvarez described Tehran-Caracas ties as "strategic," and added that the two sides would continue to explore ways of expanding ties based on mutual respect and cooperation.
He pointed out that mutual relations were currently not just "trade and economic" but extended more importantly to the two countries' cooperation toward establishing a just world.
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