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S. Korea opens center to support exports to Iran

All News 10:05 January 25, 2016

SEJONG, Jan. 25 (Yonhap) -- South Korea launched a business center to support local firms exporting to Iran on Monday as the former reclusive country is opening its market following the recent lifting of international sanctions, the finance ministry said.

Located in downtown Seoul, the support center, backed by related government agencies including the finance and trade ministries, the Korea Trade Insurance Corp. and the Korea Export-Import Bank, will provide information and consulting services on trade and investment with Iran.

"The Iranian market will be a bonus to the South Korean economy when our companies make good use of it," Vice Finance Minister Choi Sang-mok said in an opening ceremony. "The center will help our companies solve difficulties and do business with their Iranian counterparts."

Since Washington and Tehran concluded a landmark nuclear agreement last year, the United States and the European Union have removed economic sanctions that were imposed on Iran over the past decade, opening up a new market with a population of 80 million.

Iran's re-entry into the global economy is regarded as a boon for the South Korean economy as the oil-rich country is aggressively working on infrastructure business and development projects.

Iran has the world's fourth-largest oil reserves and the second-largest gas reserves, but international sanctions have hampered progress across its energy sector.

In the first 11 months of last year, bilateral trade came to US$6 billion, compared with $17 billion in 2011, according to government data.

brk@yna.co.kr
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