IRAN WILL next week urge British construction firms to end 20 years of isolation from its civil engineering market at a major London conference.
Iranian ministers for transport, power, mines, metals, oil and foreign affairs, will visit London next week to map out plans for future construction at the Invest 2000 conference.
Diplomatic relations between Britain and Iran have thawed recently. Trade between the two countries fell after sanctions were imposed when Islamic fundamentalists led by Ayatollah Khomeni deposed the Shah in 1979. The country has been run as a centralised state economy ever since.
Recently Iran has become a more liberal state and has been seeking Western help to wipe out a huge backlog of infrastructure projects.
This follows a high profile trade mission led by construction minister Nick Raynsford last month.
Water and power trade missions are planned for October.
There are also to be major construction industry exhibitions in the Iranian capital, Tehran.
Under its latest five year economic plan, Iran has prioritised transport infrastructure, in particular rail. Construction of a new metro system is planned for Tehran and major water and power schemes are in the pipeline. The government is aiming to build universities, hospitals and 3M new homes.