Egypt is considering exporting food to Iraq: "They produce only 1% of their needs"
The head of the Egyptian Commercial Office in the Iraqi capital, Baghdad, Majed Sabek, said that the office had prepared a study on the needs of the Iraqi market and analyzed their requirements, in order to introduce Egyptian companies to this market, to choose the products that can be exported and the mechanisms for dealing with companies and traders in Iraq.
This came during a symposium organized by the Export Council for Food Industries in cooperation with the Commercial Representation Agency, under the title "Opportunities for developing food industry exports to Iraq."
He added that Iraq is a young country, as 70% of the population of 40 million people is young, which must be taken into consideration, especially as this affects the nature of their consumption of food.
Previous explained, that the Iraqi industry in the food sector covers only 1% of the needs of this market, as it does not exceed types of dairy and its products, rice and pasta packaging, and juice factories, but in a small way, and some industries related to dates, but it has huge meat industries, As the Iraqi consumer prefers to rely on the Iraqi product.
He stated that 99% of the Iraqi market's needs are imported from abroad, as its total imports during the past year amounted to about 33 billion dollars during 2020, 16% of which are food products with about 5.3 billion dollars.
Previously, he reviewed the most important items of Iraq’s food imports during 2020, which are represented in rice with a value of 690 million dollars, oils and fats with a value of 560 million dollars, flour and wheat and barley grains with a value of 470 million dollars, foods from “corn flakes, couscous and oats” at about 453.6 million dollars, and food preparations Of barley and wheat with a value of 3789 million dollars, sugar with a value of 355.6 million dollars, and tobacco and cigarettes with a value of 275.4 million dollars.
He added that Iraq's imports of nuts during the past year amounted to $208 million, preserved vegetables about $207.7 million, cheese about $187.7 million, milk and its derivatives about $148.9 million, chocolate about $148.5 million, and eating cats and dogs about $129.4 million. Pasta is about $119.9 million, wines and wine are about $90 million, yeast is about $27 million, vinegar is about $1.7 million, and honey is about $1.6 million.
Regarding the most important countries supplying Iraq, he previously noted that they differ from one producer to another, but Turkey has a large share, as it accounts for 27% of the Iraqi market, explaining that India is the largest supplier of rice to Iraq, followed by Turkey, and Turkey is the largest supplier of sunflower oil, Indonesia for palm oil and Spain for olive oil.
With regard to the effects and repercussions of the Corona pandemic on the Iraqi market, he stressed that it is still ongoing and at all commercial levels, as it suffers from a stagnation of 30-40%, noting that the Iraqi market is witnessing stability and convergence between the prices of goods in large supermarkets and small shops, and that There is an interest in the price component in the first place.
Regarding the procedures for exporting to the Iraqi market, the head of the Egyptian Commercial Office in Baghdad explained that Iraq does not give Egypt any preferential treatment, and that companies wishing to export to it must join the database of the registration program for factories and companies supplying to Iraq, which is approved by the Iraqi General Company for Exhibitions and Commercial Services in coordination With the German company TUV REHINlAND.
On the other hand, he stressed that non-cash payment methods are not popular in Iraq, noting that merchants in Iraq prefer to deal with cash, noting that the most important customs ports for Egyptian exports in Iraq are the Tarbil port on the Iraqi-Jordanian border, and the Umm Qasr port in Basra. .
He pointed out that frozen cheeses and vegetables have good opportunities in the Iraqi market, and there is a possibility to export them from Egypt, and there is a desire on the Iraqi side to import from Egypt, especially engineering goods.
He added that Iraqi companies prefer manufacturing to others, and there is an Iraqi company that requested the manufacture of stoves in Egypt in its name and with specific specifications, and an agreement was reached with an Egyptian company for manufacturing for the Iraqi company, and it was agreed to send a trial shipment from Egypt.
Regarding the possibility of exporting poultry in its various forms from Egypt, he explained that there has been a decision by the Iraqi government to ban the import of 25 items of agricultural and animal products from all countries of the world since 2018, and in fact there has been a decline in the volume of imports of that item to Iraq by up to 50% during the past year.
He added that among those products are chicken in all its forms, whether live, frozen or factory, as well as table eggs, noting that there is periodic follow-up to this decision to know which items are included and which are canceled, and are sent to the Ministry of Agriculture and Agricultural Quarantine and the Export Council for Agricultural Crops.
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