India and Iran on Monday pledged to build a strong and cooperative bilateral relationship based on the strength of their historical and civilisational ties.The two sides also saw "potential for cooperation" in the sphere of mines and mining besides other sectors and also "noted their shared desire to develop an Information and Communication Technology Zone in Chabahar"."The leaders (Iranian President Hassan Rouhani and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi) were united in their determination to build a strong, contemporary and cooperative relationship that draws upon the strength of the historical and civilisational ties between the two countries," a joint statement issued here said.Both the countries "were also of the view that their governments must enable and encourage utilisation of the emerging opportunities to the maximum possible extent in all areas of bilateral economic and commercial cooperation, in particular connectivity and infrastructure, energy, and trade and investment".
The statement further said, "the Iranian side welcomed the investment of Indian side in setting up plants in sectors such as fertilisers, petrochemicals and metallurgy in Chabahar FTZ on terms mutually beneficial to the concerned parties".Rouhani and Modi also welcomed prospects for participation of India’s railways in various ongoing and future projects. In this regard, they noted the steps for cooperation taken by IRCON and CDTIC of Islamic Republic of Iran, the statement said.The Indian side thanked the Iranian government for India’s ongoing participation and investment in the development of the oil and gas sector in Iran. In this regard, they expressed the hope that a Heads of Agreement will be concluded by the third quarter of 2016, it said.The leaders noted with satisfaction the decision to convene a bilateral ‘Energy Dialogue’ with participation of important stake holders alternately in India and Iran, to focus on all aspects of mutual concern in the energy sector.
"President Rouhani and Prime Minister Modi agreed to strengthen the longstanding trade ties between the two countries by, inter alia, stepping up the momentum of economic engagement through early conclusion of a Preferential Trade Agreement, preferably within a year. The two leaders also directed that Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement and Bilateral Investment Treaty should be concluded before the end of the year," it said.According to the joint statement, "India fully supports the accession of the Islamic Republic of Iran to the World Trade Organization and the ongoing consensus building efforts among WTO members to reactivate the accession process, consistent with the objective of making the Organization universal and inclusive".