Iran, Iraq ink economic co-op MOU

January 13, 2021 - 15:6

TEHRAN- Iran and Iraq signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) on economic cooperation at the end of the fourth meeting of the two countries’ Joint Economic Committee on Wednesday, Iranian Energy Minister Reza Ardakanian, who is the head of the mentioned committee, announced.

The minister said that the MOU covers cooperation in different areas.

The two-day meeting provided a very fruitful discussion for both sides and is expected to serve the interests of both countries, the minister noted.

Technical committees were formed in various business fields to discuss technical and engineering services and other topics of interest, he said, adding, the meeting also proposed and supported the establishment of a joint investment fund between the two countries and hopes to continue its path.

In addition to establishing a shipping corridor and increasing the number of Iraqi aircrafts passing over Iran, good agreements were reached to review the requests, Ardakanian stated.

In the first day of the meeting on Tuesday, which he co-chaired with the Iraqi Trade Minister Alla Ahmed Al-Jubouri, Ardakanian had stated that the two countries’ annual trade is going to be increased to $20 billion.

“The Islamic Republic of Iran is ready to support the export of Iranian engineering and technical services to Iraq by establishing a joint investment fund,” he said, adding that new agreements are going to be signed between the two countries in the fields of water and energy.

Al-Jubouri, for his part, emphasized the significance of modern technologies in the development of economic relations between the countries, and said: “In today's world, the digital economy is very important and the existing obstacles and problems in the way of the development of economic relations between the two countries can be overcome accordingly.”

According to Al-Jubouri, the presence of a high-ranking Iraqi delegation at the two countries’ Joint Economic Committee meeting is an indication of Iraq’s determination for boosting cooperation with the Islamic Republic of Iran in order to identify and eliminate existing obstacles in the way of the two sides’ trade development and to take the necessary measures.

Iranian, Iraqi private sectors discuss expansion of ties

During a meeting between Gholam-Hossein Shafeie, the chairman of Iran Chamber of Commerce, Industries, Mines and Agriculture (ICCIMA), and Abdel Razzak El-Zouhairy, the chairman of the Federation of Iraqi Chambers of Commerce, the two sides explored the ways for the expansion of relation between the two countries’ private sectors and removal of existing barriers in this due.

As published on the ICCIMA website, addressing the meeting, which was held at the place of ICCIMA on Tuesday, the ICCIMA chairman stressed the readiness of the private sector to expand trade relations with Iraq and called for resolving border, customs, banking and business visa issuance problems.

“The Iranian people are very interested in Iraq and Iraqi people, and we must use this exceptional relationship to develop trade and economic relations”, he said, adding, “As a representative of the private sector, we are interested in developing and improving our economic relations with Iraq, which will contribute to the level of public welfare of the people of the two countries.”

He continued, "Fortunately, both the governments of Iran and Iraq have a good view of the development strategy and we, as the private sector, can use these opportunities for new investments in both countries.”

El-Zouhairy, for his part, mentioned the economic opportunities between the two countries, and said, "There are many investment opportunities in addition to trade opportunities in agriculture and industry sectors. We can work together in fields such as building factories.”

“The volume of trade between the two countries is very low considering the existing potential and opportunities. Of course, I am not against imports and exports, but I believe that investment opportunities should be created and strengthened between the two countries”, he added.

El-Zouhairy visited Iran in a trip of an Iraqi high delegation who arrived in Tehran on Tuesday to take part in the two countries’ fourth Joint Economic Committee meeting.

MA/MA

Photo: Gholam-Hossein Shafeie (R), the chairman of Iran Chamber of Commerce, Industries, Mines and Agriculture, and Abdel Razzak El-Zouhairy, the chairman of the Federation of Iraqi Chambers of Commerce, in a meeting on Tuesday

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