BEIJING, Apr. 22 (Mehr News Agency) -- Iran and China will establish a "joint oil and gas committee" to accelerate the execution of energy projects between the two countries, the Iranian minister of economic affairs and finance said in Beijing on Thursday.
IRNA quoted Shamseddin Hosseini as saying that the aim of forming this committee is to speed up projects execution and to develop the Sino-Iranian ties in the field of energy.
He made the remarks on the sidelines of the 14th session of Iran-China Joint Economic Commission held in the Chinese capital of Beijing on Thursday, Press TV reported.
The Iranian minister said that the formation of the Iran-China joint oil and gas committee was stressed in a memorandum of understanding on trade and economic cooperation that was signed between Tehran and Beijing on April 21.
The Iranian minister and Chinese Minister of Commerce Chen Deming signed the memorandum on Thursday, aiming to explore venues to further strengthen mutual cooperation in various areas, including investment, banking, insurance, transportation and energy.
During the meeting, the Chinese commerce minister hailed economic and trade ties with the Islamic Republic, saying the expansion of bilateral cooperation would benefit the both nations and the region as well as the world.
Chen noted that Chinese companies have invested some $570 million in the Islamic Republic of Iran over the past two years.
The Chinese minister pointed out that Iran has rich resources of oil and gas, and expressed his country's willingness to further enhance energy ties with the Islamic Republic.
Iran is currently China's third largest supplier of crude oil, providing it with roughly 12 percent of its total annual oil consumption -- nearly one million barrels per day.
The volume of Iran's trade with China stood at about $30 billion in 2010, up from $400 million in 1994. The two countries have sought to enhance their bilateral trade ties significantly.
In February, Head of Iran-China Joint Chamber of Commerce Asadollah Asgaroladi pointed out that the two countries have drawn plans to increase the value of bilateral trade exchanges to USD 50 billion by 2015.
The 13th meeting of Iran-China Joint Economic Commission was held in the Iranian capital city of Tehran in 2009.
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