Italy and Iran have signed an agreement to fund joint business investments worth up to 5 billion euros (6.02 billion U.S. dollars) in the Middle Eastern country, the Italian economy ministry said Thursday.
The agreement covers projects to be carried out jointly by Italian and Iranian companies in infrastructure, construction, oil and gas, electricity, and the chemicals, petrochemical, and steelmaking industries, the statement said.
The credit agreement was signed by Invitalia, the Italian economy ministry's foreign investment and business development agency, and two Iranian lenders -- Bank of Industry and Mine, and Middle East Bank.
It will be covered by a sovereign guarantee from the Iranian government, according to the statement.
Economy Minister Pier Carlo Padoan and Iranian Deputy Finance Minister Mohammad Khazaee "welcomed" the agreement, calling it "an important step in consolidating the economic and financial partnership between the two countries."