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Iran, Syria to develop banking ties, set up joint bank: Report

This photo published on the website of the central bank of Iran on September 2, 2019 shows CBI chief Abdolnasser Hemmati and his Syrian counterpart Hazem Karfoul signing documents after a meeting in Tehran.

Iran and Syria have vowed to expedite efforts for establishing a joint bank that could help the two allied countries deepen their trade and economic relations.

A report on the website of the Central Bank of Iran (CBI) on Monday showed that the two countries were intent on removing last hurdles to set up The Joint Iran-Syria Bank to accelerate financial transactions.

The report, which came out of a meeting between CBI Governor Abdolnasser Hemmati and his Syrian counterpart Hazem Karfoul in Tehran, said the two sides had agreed to execute banking agreements reached between the two in the recent past.

“Iran-Syria economic relations have entered a new phase and recent banking deals are an important message for companies and a serious step for expansion of exchanges between trades and businesses of the two countries,” said Hemmati during the meeting.

The CBI chief also demanded the Syrian government to remove the last remaining obstacles in the way to set up the joint bank as required by a memorandum of understanding signed between the two countries.

The report said Iran and Syria had already agreed on joint mechanisms that could bolster economic exchanges between the two, including the use of local currencies in bilateral trade, injecting more credit to schemes jointly run by banks of the two and launching a system that could enable citizens of the two countries to use special payment cards during visits.

Hemmati said during the meeting that Iran was ready to further help Syria banking sector develop after years of war in the country that has affected its financial services and their relation with the rest of the world.

He said Iran would specifically provide Syria with services in banking technologies related to currency printing and electronic payment systems.

The Syrian chief banker, for his part, said during the meeting that Iran could be of great help to Syria in rebuilding its banking system after the war.

Karfoul said a Syrian delegation would arrive in Tehran soon to be briefed in detail about the potentials existing in Iran’s banking system that could be of help to Syria.

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