Iran has issued license for the first Chinese company to invest in its Arvand Free Zone, a senior trade official announced. "The first investment license has been issued for the Chinese investors in Arvand Free Zone," Deputy Managing-Director of Iran's Arvand Free Trade Zone (FTZ) for Economic and Investment Affairs Seyed Ali Moussavi told FNA on Tuesday. Moussavi pointed to the importance of attracting foreign investors, and said, "The foreign investors are supported in this region without any restriction, as attraction of foreign investment is a priority of this organization." Last week, Iranian Deputy Economy Minister Behrouz Alishiri voiced Tehran's readiness to facilitate investment opportunities for Chinese investors. "We are ready to provide Chinese companies with a list of foreign investment projects whose feasibility studies have been completed," Alishiri said, addressing a conference attended by a group of Chinese investors in Tehran. He underlined that Iran is ready for all-out cooperation with Chinese investors as per law on encouragement of foreign investors. Trade between Iran and China in the past year was estimated at $45 billion. Iran is currently China's third largest supplier of crude, providing Beijing with roughly 12 percent of its total annual oil consumption. According to the figures released by China's General Administration of Customs in January, China's crude oil imports from Iran reached 2.5 million tons (mt) in December 2012, up 43 percent from November. The official data showed that China's daily crude imports from Iran in December 2012 also rose 3.6 percent compared to December 2011. It marks China's biggest crude import from Iran since it won a renewal of exemption from the United States' oil embargo against Iran.