TEHRAN, Oct. 27 (UPI) -- Iran announced the launch of an international oil exchange on Kish Island in the Persian Gulf to trade crude and petrochemical products.
Iran, the second-largest oil producer in the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, aims to play a larger role in the international energy market, state-funded broadcaster Press TV reports.
Iran is courting international investors and regional customers to take part in its energy resources. Iran sits on some of the largest oil and gas reserves in the world but lacks the refining capacity needed for full development.
"The inauguration of the hall will enhance Iran's strategic position in the region," said Ali Salehabadi, the chairman of the Tehran Stock Exchange.
Iran also aims to encourage free-market activity in the oil market in an effort to reduce the role of the state in the energy industry, the Press TV report noted.
As many as 30 domestic companies and 20 foreign firms are active in the oil and petrochemical industries at the free zone on Kish Island.
The Kish exchange features 40 different kinds of petroleum products for trade.