Rome– Italy and Iran on Thursday signed a credit agreement worth five billion euros to help Italian companies invest in Iran, the Italian Economy Ministry said.

The framework accord was signed between Italian state-owned holding Invitalia and two Iranian banks, Bank of Industry and Mine, and Middle East Bank, in the presence of Italy’s Economy Minister Pier Carlo Padoan and Iran’s Vice Minister for economic affairs, Mohammad Khazaee.

The funds will be used for joint projects between Italian and Iranian companies in sectors including infrastructure, construction, oil and gas, electrical energy, and the chemical, petrochemical, and metallurgical industries.

Iran’s government will provide a sovereign guarantee, the Italian Economy Ministry statement added.

Italian companies have over the past two years signed 27 billion euros of business deals in the infrastructure, building, oil and gas, electrical energy, metallurgy, chemical and petrochemical sectors, projects that will be supported by the Italian government, Italian daily Il Sole 24 Ore reported on Wednesday.

Iran ended its trading isolation after a landmark July 2015 deal with six world powers to halt crippling international sanctions in exchange for curbing its nuclear activities.

Since the 2015 nuclear accord, Iran has signed framework credit agreements worth a total $19.8 billion with Chinese, South Korean, Austrian and Danish banks. (IANS / AKI)