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AP, Iran trade bodies ink pact

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Mr Mohammed Khatami, President of Iran, looking through the confocal microscope at Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology in Hyderabad on Tuesday.

HYDERABAD, Jan. 28

THE Federation of Andhra Pradesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FAPCCI) and the Iran Chamber of Commerce today signed an MoU to promote trade, investment and other economic activities between Andhra Pradesh and Iran.

Welcoming the Iranian trade delegation, Mr Omprakash Tibrewala, President of FAPCCI, said the State was keen on involving private investment in all major infrastructure segments such as seaports, airports, roads, bridges and tourism.

He requested the leader of the delegation to impress upon his Government to hold `Iran Week' in Hyderabad. Mr Shekhar Agarwal, Chairman of Foreign Trade Committee of FAPCCI, said though the India-Iran trade had been growing in the last two years, it was slightly tilted towards Iran as the bulk of Indian imports comprised petroleum products.

There was vast scope to develop trade in non-oil sectors between the two countries. Currently, Indian exports to Iran comprised tea, rice, basic chemicals, textiles and iron ore.

Dr F. Entezari, President of Iran-India Business Council, said the current third five-year plan of his country envisaged six per cent economic growth, creation of 7,60,000 jobs a year, reduction of inflation rate to 15 per cent, elimination of Customs tariffs, unification of foreign exchange rates, trade liberalisation, alteration of non-tariff barriers into tariff indexes, tax reforms and continuation of privatisation trend.

He said efforts were on to reach a single digit inflation rate by the end of 2004 and this year Iran would join the international capital markets.

He stressed the need for joint efforts towards activating the North-South Corridor which stretched from North Europe, Russia, Caspian Sea, Iran, Persian Gulf, India and South-East Asia.

A presentation made on behalf of Mr I. Vinobha Naidu, Additional Director of Industries, highlighted the strengths of the State in various sectors and outlined the investment opportunities in infrastructure projects, cotton and sericulture and the chemical sector.

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