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EghtesadOnline: Syrian Prime Minister Imad Khamis stressed the importance of expanding ties with Iran. Arriving in Tehran at the head of a delegation on Monday, Khamis was speaking in a meeting with the head of Iran Chamber of Commerce, Industries, Mines and Agriculture, Gholamhossein Shafei, on Wednesday.

Syria’s Economy and Foreign Trade Minister Adib Mayyaleh, who was also present at the meeting, said Syria currently exports close to $1 million worth of goods to Iran annually and imports around $750 million in return, IRNA reported. This is while Trade Promotion Organization of Iran has reported that Syria’s exports to Iran during the seven months to October 21 stood at $5.16 million while Iran exported more than $105.4 million worth of goods to Syria over the same period. The Islamic Republic of Iran Customs Administration’s data show Iran exported $149 million worth of goods to Syria in the last Iranian year that ended in March 2016, posting a 45% rise over the preceding year. In return, it imported goods worth $7.8 million, which shows a 22% decline. Iranian exports to Syria include chemicals, electronic parts, pharmaceuticals, auto parts, baby formula and faucets, Financial Tribune reported. Imports include olive, olive oil, apparel, yarn and fabrics. On Tuesday, Iran’s Minister of Communications and Information Technology Mahmoud Vaezi held a meeting with his visiting Syrian counterpart Ali al-Zafir. “Establishing an optical fiber network among Tehran, Baghdad and Damascus is necessary and must be carried out after terrorism is defeated in Syria,” said the visiting minister. Vaezi said Iran is prepared to launch Syria’s third mobile phone operator provided that the country allocates the required frequency band. Also on Tuesday, the two sides signed five memorandums of understanding to help improve bilateral relations. The documents cover agriculture, mining, petroleum extraction, animal husbandry and telecommunications.

Iran-Syria ties Gholamhossein Shafei Iran-Syria trade Imad Khamis