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Economy News - Baghdad
Saudi Investment Minister Khaled Al-Fateh said on Sunday that his country is accelerating the steps to inaugurate the first free economic zone with Iraq, in the border region of Arar.
Al-Falih said that the Saudi Economic Cities Authority is studying establishing a link between the border areas and free zones with neighboring countries, expressing his hope that the border area with Iraq in Arar will be the first free economic zone with a neighboring country without taxes, fees or entry visas to serve investors in the two countries.
The statements of the Saudi Minister of Investment came during one of the sessions of the Northern Border Investment Forum held in the Saudi city of Arar, in which he indicated the availability of about 100 new investment opportunities, worth 20 billion riyals, in addition to the existing opportunities, which are valued at 80 billion riyals.
He stated that the new Arar land port in the northern border region is one of the gateways to the trade movement between Saudi Arabia and Iraq during the past two years, as the volume of land trade exchange during the first half of the current year amounted to about 913.1 million riyals, indicating at the same time that the volume of trade exchange between Saudi Arabia and Iraq In 2021, it amounted to about 3.5 billion riyals.
The Chamber of Commerce and Industry in the Northern Border Region said in a study it conducted that the trade movement between the Kingdom and Iraq grew from 294 million riyals in January to 381 million riyals in March, and Saudi Arabia’s imports from Iraq declined during the same period from 11.5 million riyals to 8.6 million riyals. Millions of riyals.
The goods that Saudi Arabia exports to Iraq include aluminum and its products, electrical appliances and equipment and their parts, preparations based on grains or flour, dairy and eggs, edible animal products, and mineral products. While goods were imported from Iraq, namely aluminum and its products, gum and vegetable juices, sugar and its sugar products, and copper and its products.
The Saudi northern border region includes 25% of the Kingdom’s mining wealth, with a total value of 1.2 trillion riyals, according to the Deputy Minister of Industry and Mineral Resources for Mining Affairs, Khaled Al-Mudaifer.
The Saudi northern border region also contains about 7% of the global phosphate reserve, and the volume of investment in it amounts to about 85 billion riyals in two stages.
The northern region is considered an international corridor for trade and transport movement through 3 axes: the first through Iraq and then the countries of East Asia, the second through Jordan and Syria, then Turkey and the continent of Europe, and the third to the Arab Gulf countries.
On the 22nd of this month, the Iraqi Ministry of Industry and Minerals announced its initial approval to establish a joint economic zone with Saudi Arabia on the border between the two countries.
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