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September 21, 2023[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]
Baghdad/Al-Masala Al-Hadath: The Forum for the Sustainable Development of Trade between Iran and Iraq until 2025 was held yesterday in the Iranian Chamber of Commerce, where officials from both countries and representatives of the private sector stressed the importance of the trade relationship between Iran and Iraq and discussed ways to increase the volume of trade between them.
The Doniay Eqtesad newspaper said in a report that Iraq is considered one of Iran's most important trading partners over the past years, as Iran's exports to this country in 2022 amounted to more than $10 billion, or about 20% of the volume of Iran's exports.
The value of Iranian exports to Iraq in the past five months of this year reached $3.5 billion, which represents a growth of 18.5% compared to the same period last year.
While these jumps in exports to Iraq occur, Iran's exports to other countries of the world are witnessing a significant decline. Therefore, the statistics above show the extent of Iraq's strategic importance in the Iranian trade map.
Farzad Belten, head of the West Asia Department at the Iranian Trade Development Foundation, pointed out at this forum the strategic importance of trade with Iraq and stressed that in order to develop trade with this country in the long term, the establishment of institutions should be included on the agenda of the Iranian government, and he said: Iraq is our number one trading partner in the world and our electric energy partner in Asia.
He added: Every week we witness an event in Iran related to Iraq, such as sending trade delegations and holding conferences and exhibitions by the private and governmental sectors, and this stems from the importance of trade with Iraq.
He continued: We have 5 border crossings with Iraq, and the presence of merchants who are fluent in the Arabic language is considered a privilege for us in trade with Iraq, unlike Turkey.
Belten pointed to the goal set to bring the volume of trade with Iraq to $20 billion, saying: There is a decision taken to establish new institutions with the participation of the private sector, including a complex of commercial centers that can perform the work of a large number of commercial attachés in providing services to merchants.
This official confirmed that the Iranian government has included on its agenda the establishment of joint institutions, a joint bank, and a joint free zone, in addition to establishing a joint transportation company for sustainable development, in the hope that these measures will help develop the wheel of trade.
For his part, the head of the Joint Iranian-Iraqi Chamber of Commerce, Yahya Al-Ishaq, pointed to the development of the Iraqi market in the coming years, stressing the importance of planning for this purpose on the agenda.
He says in this regard: Iranian-Iraqi trade relations are a strategic relationship in the short and long term, and the volume of trade between Iran and Iraq can reach 20 billion dollars, and sometimes it is said that it is possible to increase it to 30 billion dollars, knowing that this matter is not only a slogan, but it can achieve it.
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