The Joint Saudi-Iranian Committee concluded its 5th session in Jeddah yesterday under the chairmanship of Minister of Commerce Osama Faqih and his Irani counterpart Mohammed Shariat Madari. Addressing the inaugural session of the two-day meeting, Minister Faqih referred to the year 2001 as witnessing a significant increase in the volume of trade between the two countries, with a jump from SR498 million [$132.98 million] to SR932 million [$248.87 million]. He urged Saudi and Iranian businessmen to take advantage of the available investment opportunities, and work to boost trade and implement productive joint projects.
In this respect, the Saudi Fund for Development and the Export Guarantee Fund of Iran signed a memorandum of understanding on Saturday benefiting reciprocal trade by providing export credit guarantees and insurance facilities; and in a press statement, Minister Faqih commented that the Commission is promoting a bilateral agreement on avoiding double taxation, opening markets for domestic products and eliminating all customs barriers.
Meanwhile, it was announced today that the Islamic Development Bank (IDB) has approved loans worth U.S. $164 million to assist Iranian companies implement a number of projects. This includes $69 million for the Sarjashma and Midok copper mines; $27 million for the Iranian Medical Appliances and Pharmaceuticals Company, an affiliate of the Iranian Red Crescent; and $6 million for the soft drink company Zamzam.