21 Feb 2024
Sunday 7 February 2016 - 18:20
Story Code : 200659

Minister: Tehran, Tokyo sign $10bln MoU to implement joint ventures

TEHRAN (FNA)- Iranian Economy Minister Ali Tayyebnia disclosed that during his recent visit to Tokyo he signed an important Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with his Japanese counterpart Motoo Hayashi worth billions of dollars.

"We signed a 10-billion-dollar MoU in Japan which will be used for implementation of joint ventures in Iran," Tayyebnia told reporters after his return from Japan on Sunday.

He underlined that the agreement will play an effective role in financing Iran's development projects.

The economy minister said Tehran and Tokyo also signed another MoU to promote foreign direct investment.

In a relevant development last Wednesday, Tayyebnia had said that the post-sanctions Iran is now open for Japanese trade, business and investment.

"We seek long-term partnership in joint ventures and more," Tayyebnia said, addressing a forum of Japanese industrialists and business representatives in Tokyo.

He outlined Iran's consumer market of 80 million, its access to a regional market of 400 million, as well as its young human resources, and added, "There are excellent opportunities for foreign direct investments in upstream and downstream oil and gas projects, petrochemicals, car manufacturing, machinery, medicine, tourism and mining."

Tayyebnia's visit came after the Japanese government lifted economic sanctions against Iran last month to join the ranks of the world's major economies in normalizing trade bilateral ties.

The Japanese cabinet ratified the move following the implementation of the nuclear deal between Iran and the six world powers (the US, Russia, China, France, Britain and Germany).

"Japan would like to further strengthen its cooperation with Iran and contribute to the peace and stability of the Middle East through traditional friendly relationship with Iran, said Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga.

Suga said Tokyo would cancel bans on Japanese exports to Iran and the Iranian oil and gas sector.

We will continue to support the consistent implementation of the final agreement on the Iranian nuclear issue as we see it as a way to enforce nuclear non-proliferation and contribute to stability in the Middle East, he added.

Tokyo is seeking to restore exploration of the Azadegan oilfield near the Iraqi border with an estimated 5.2 billion barrels of recoverable oil.

Japans oil and gas exploration and production company INPEX withdrew from the project in 2010, six years after receiving three-quarters of concessions to develop the field and four years after that share dropped to one-tenth.

The public oil firm pulled out from Iran after receiving a warning from the United States it might be sanctioned for violating an embargo on Iran, thus complicating its transactions with other companies and financial institutions in the United States.

Japans exports to Iran were valued at $170 million in 2013, an estimated one-tenth of the profits reported before anti-Iran sanctions were imposed.

The China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC) effectively replaced INPEX with a $1.76-billion contract signed in 2009. The newspaper reports, however, that the contract has not been honored as the Azadegan exploration is behind schedule.

Restoring its standing in Iran is seen as a way to increase Japans energy security and escape its dependence on Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, which supply over half of Japans hydrocarbons.

In addition to allowing Japanese companies to invest in Irans oil and gas industry, Japanese banks will be able to open branches and enter into currency exchange contracts.

By Fars News Agency
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