Chandigarh, Sep 24 (IANS) Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Tuesday mooted a dedicated Punjab-Iran Chamber of Commerce to harness investment potential between two sides, while seeking technical transfer with the Gulf nation in the critical areas of water conservation, agriculture and agro products.
Interacting with Iran's Ambassador to India, Ali Chegeni, who called on the Chief Minister here, Amarinder Singh also extended his personal invitation to the envoy to attend the 550th birth anniversary celebrations of Guru Nanak Dev.
The Chief Minister informed the envoy that he had already taken up with the Union government the issue of starting special charter flights from Tehran to Amritsar for facilitating Sikh pilgrims expected to visit during the historic occasion.
Highlighting the role of the Sikh community in strengthening the Iranian economy, the Chief Minister stressed the need to take people-to-people relations forward.
He asked the state Chief Secretary to initiate student exchange programmes between universities in Punjab and Iran, while also suggesting promotion of business-to-business interactions.
The quantum of exports from Punjab of premium quality rice, fruits and dry fruits to Iran could be further increased, the Chief Minister said, noting that Iranian urea was among the major import items for the state.
The Chief Minister assured the visiting envoy that the state government would provide all possible support and cooperation to the Iranian investors who wish to set up their industrial units in the state.
Nostalgically recalling his only visit to Iran in 1976, when he had led a delegation of the state Agriculture Ministry which he was heading, Amarinder Singh termed his two-month stay as a learning experience.
The Ambassador invited the Chief Minister to visit Iran again soon.
Acceding to a suggestion from Amarinder Singh, the envoy, who is attending an event in Patiala on Wednesday, also decided to visit the Samana shrine in the city.
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