EghtesadOnline: Despite the existing constraints and difficulties, Beijing is making concerted efforts to maintain trade ties with Tehran.
China’s new Ambassador to Iran Chang Hua, made the statement in Tehran in a meeting with Energy Minister Reza Ardakanian, the ministry news website reported Saturday.
"Although Middle East countries like Yemen, Lebanon and Iraq are grappling with chronic electricity cuts due to lack of infrastructure, the power generation industry in Iran is in a satisfactory condition," the diplomat said.
Chang asserted that Chinese firms have been active in the region for long and are willing to develop collaboration with Iran’s water and energy firms, according to Financial Tribune.
Highlighting the close relations between the two nations, he noted that Iran and China should stand united against the United States’ unilateralism.
"We are determined to build collaboration with Chinese firms not only to meet our own needs but also to extend our footprint in international markets," Ardakanian said.
His proposal to form consortiums and invest in joint energy projects in other countries was welcomed by the Chinese envoy.
The energy ministry has plans to develop domestic power infrastructure and help promote regional cooperation in the key power sector.
As the largest exporter and importer of electricity in the Middle East, Iran plays a key role in power supply in the region.
It exports power to Pakistan, Turkey, Iraq and Afghanistan. Under swap deals, it exports electricity to Armenia and Azerbaijan in winter and imports in summer.
Iran’s trade with China reached $19.66 billion during the first half of 2018, registering an increase of 2.2% compared with last year’s corresponding period, the ambassador said.
China has long been Iran’s biggest trading partner.
Bilateral trade grew to $37.2 billion in 2017, a 19% increase over 2016, according to Chinese customs data.
China’s still importing oil from Iran weeks after the US imposed new sanctions aimed at halting sales of crude from the Persian Gulf.
Official customs data on Friday showed China imported 855,638 tons of crude oil in June, the equivalent of about 209,000 barrels a day.