‘No new limitations in Iran-Iraq trade ties’

May 15, 2019

TEHRAN- There is no new limitation in trade relations between Iran and Iraq and the two neighbors are strongly determined to strengthen and develop their trade cooperation, Iranian Commercial Attaché to Iraq Naser Behzad stressed.

In this due, the two countries are following up plans for increasing their bilateral economic relation, the official website of Iran’s Trade Promotion Organization (TPO) quoted Behzad as saying.

The Iranian commercial attaché further said that Iran’s monthly exports to Iraq is expected to be doubled in the current Iranian calendar month (ends on May 16) from its previous month.

As previously reported by TPO, following an agreement on establishment of an Iran-Iraq trade committee, officials from the two sides held a meeting to discuss the issue in Tehran on May 5.

According to Masoud Kamali Ardakani, the director for Industrial and Mineral Products Export Development Office of TPO, in the meeting, the two sides discussed several issues including joint investment and establishment of industrial zones, facilitating the transit of goods, facilitating business travels, organizing pilgrimage and health tourism, as well as solving the existing problems regarding mutual trade.

The official pointed to a 37-percent increase in Iran's exports to Iraq in the last Iranian calendar year (ended on March 20), saying “Obviously, the formation of this committee will be an important step towards reaching the goal of boosting the trade between the two countries to $20 billion by 2021.”

Also, following the visit of a high-ranking Iraqi delegation to Tehran, Iran Chamber of Commerce, Industries, Mines and Agriculture (ICCIMA) hosted an Iran-Iraq business forum on April 7.

The event was attended by several senior officials from both sides including Iran’s First Vice President Es’haq Jahangiri, Iraqi Prime Minister Adil Abdul-Mahdi as well as Iranian Energy Minister Reza Ardakanian, Iraqi Minister of Electricity Louay Al Khateeb, Iraqi Trade Minister Mohammad Hashim Abdul Majid Jasim, Iranian Industry, Mining and Trade Minister Reza Rahmani, Head of Basra Chamber of Commerce Majed Mozan, and ICCIMA Head Gholam-Hossein Shafeie, along with representatives of private companies.

During the business forum, the two sides called for further expansion of the trade ties between the two countries and the officials delivered speeches addressing various trade related issues.

In his speech, the Iranian vice president mentioned Iranian President Hassan Rouhani’s visit to Iraq in early March, saying that the visit of Iraqi delegation less than a month after President Rouhani’s visit to their country is an indication of the two sides’ determination for expanding economic ties.

He also pointed to the desirable talks and agreements which have been reached during the Iraqi delegation visit to Iran and noted that “following the agreements reached during president Rouhani’s visit to Iraq these new agreements can provide a reliable basis for future cooperation between the two countries’ private sectors.”

Iraqi Prime Minister Adil Abdul-Mahdi, for his part expressed his country’s eager determination for expansion of relations with Iran in all areas and noted that the two countries should join hands in order to reach a level of development which they deserve.

The official further called on Iranian private sector to cooperate with their Iraqi counterparts in reconstruction of Iraq’s infrastructure.

He mentioned some of the memorandums of understanding (MOUs) which were signed between the two sides, including an agreement on building a cross-border railway, easing travel conditions and exports of electricity and gas from Iran to Iraq and called for the two sides’ all-out efforts for their realization.

MA/MA

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