Iraqi prime minister orders resumption of trade with Iran

July 7, 2020 - 15:21

TEHRAN- Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kadhimi has ordered trade exchanges with Iran to be resumed in Mandali and Shalamcheh border markets, Head of Iraq's Border Ports Authority Omar Al-Waeli announced.

Al-Waeli added that accordingly, 250 shipments from Iran will enter Iraq daily for two days a week through Shalamcheh border in Basra and Mandali in Diyala province, IRNA reported.

Preventive measures against coronavirus should be taken in health departments of the two provinces to ensure safety of workers and incoming goods, he said.

The official reiterated that only goods exchanges are permissible and passengers will never be allowed to enter the border crossings.

In mid-June, the Iraqi government agreed to reopen Zarbatiyeh (Mehran) border crossing to import goods from Iran for two days a week, and trade is currently underway at that border crossing.

Iraq's Border Ports Authority closed border crossings with Iran and its neighbors in mid-March to prevent the outbreak of the coronavirus.

During a meeting between Iran's Ambassador to Baghdad Iraj Masjedi and Manhal Aziz Al-Khabbaz, Iraq’s new minister of industry and minerals, in Baghdad on June 24, the two sides discussed expansion of trade and industrial cooperation.

Masjedi congratulated the Iraqi official on his appointment as industry and minerals minister, expressing hope that industrial ties and cooperation between the two countries would expand under his leadership.

Further in the meeting, both officials urged expansion of ties in various areas including the auto industry, launching joint industrial parks, and other industrial and mining areas.

The officials also discussed holding the two countries’ joint economic committee meeting and Iran's investment in manufacturing tractors, buses, and minibusses in Iraq.

The economic and political relations between Iran and Iraq have increased significantly in the past few years and the two neighbors are seeking ways to facilitate financial transactions and boost their trade ties.

The two countries have it on the agenda to increase the value of their bilateral trade to $20 billion by 2021.

Last week, the two sides decided on the ways of implementing an agreement for using Iran’s export revenues in Iraq for importing basic goods from the country.

According to the Governor of Central Bank of Iran (CBI) Abdolnaser Hemmati, under the framework of the mentioned agreement, Iran will use its gas and electricity export revenues which amount at several billion dollars a year in addition to CBI resources in Iraq, for importing its required goods from the country.

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