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China signs $13B contract to build 5000km of railways in Iran

02/09/11 Source: Press TV

China has signed a $13 billion contract to construct a railroad network in the Islamic Republic, Iran's Construction and Development of Transportation Infrastructures Company has announced.

The railroad network will extend 5,300 kilometers (3,293 miles) and consists of eight lines, the company said in a statement published on its website on Tuesday.

The managing director of the company, Massoud Rahnama, said that Tehran and Beijing have also agreed to collaborate in many other railroad projects in Iran.

"We signed a 130 trillion rial (around $13 billion) contract to build more than 5,300 kilometers of railway lines," the official added, noting that Iran and China will also cooperate in transferring railroad construction technology and building related factories.

He had earlier said that the Iran-China Railroad Office was set up to facilitate the implementation of the projects.

The eight railroad lines are the Tehran-Mashhad line with a length of over 900 kilometers, the Tehran-Qom-Esfahan line with a length of 410 kilometers, the Qazvin-Rasht-Anzali-Astara line with a length of more than 370 kilometers, the Arak-Kermanshah-Khosravi line with a length of 569 kilometers, the Chabahar-Zahedan-Mashhad line with a length of about 1,340 kilometers, the Gorgan-Bojnourd-Mashhad line with a length of 646 kilometers, the Tehran-Hamedan-Sanandaj line with a length of 408 kilometers, and the Sari-Rasht line with a length of 366 kilometers.

Earlier in the month, the Sino-Iranian Chamber of Commerce Chairman Asadollah Asgaroladi said that direct trade between the two countries currently stands at $30 billion.

He underlined that bilateral trade stood at $21.2 billion in 2009, a considerable increase from $400 million around 15 years ago.

Asgaroladi also said China conducts $7 billion of indirect trade with Iran annually through the United Arab Emirates.

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