Iranian Ambassador to Beijing Mehdi Safari underscored Iran and China\'s eagerness to further expand their economic cooperation, and said the two countries\' trade ties have grown 55% in 2011 compared with the previous year. Safari said Wednesday that trade between Iran and China increased by 55 percent to exceed 45 billion dollars in 2011. He added that the annual trade figures show a 16 billion-dollar increase in commercial ties with China since 2010. China is Iran\'s top trade partner, with economic ties expanding in recent years after the withdrawal of Western companies in line with sanctions against the Islamic Republic over its peaceful nuclear program. Beijing has also significantly increased its presence in Iran\'s oil and gas sector by signing a series of contracts worth up to 40 billion dollars in the past few years. China boosted its oil imports from Iran by 30% in 2011 despite the West\'s pressure on the world\'s second largest economy to lower economic ties with Iran. China\'s crude oil imports from Iran have amounted to 27.76 million metric tons in 2011, Chinese General Administration of Customs announced earlier this month. The figure shows that the country traded in nearly 557,000 barrels of oil from Iran on a daily basis last year. China\'s overall crude imports for December 2011 stood at 21.92 million metric tons, up 5.1 percent in comparison with the same period in the previous year. The growth in China\'s oil imports from Iran came despite the West\'s efforts to rally support for an oil embargo on Iran.