The Iraqi government hopes to raise the volume of its annual trade exchanges with Iran to USD 15 billion from the current USD 12 billion, Iraqi officials say.
Iraq’s Undersecretary of Trade Yehya Ahmad Faraj said Iraqi traders are eager to “import Iranian goods, given their competitive prices and the ease of transporting goods and bringing them into Iraq.”
He told Al-Monitor that the Iraqi market is large enough to handle more commercial exchanges with Iran.
Abdul Hussein al-Anbaki, who advises Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki on economic affairs, said his country mainly imports canned food, meats, vegetable oil, soft drinks, household items and electrical appliances from Iran.
Al-Maliki’s media advisor, Ali Musawi, praised Iran for facilitating economic exchange between the two neighbors.
Al-Monitor also quoted Mahmoud Behzar, director of commercial affairs of the Iranian Embassy in Baghdad, as saying Tehran aspires to have USD 20 billion worth of trade with Iraq by the end of 2017.
“According to our market observations, commercial exchange reached USD 10-13 billion by the end of November 2013,” he said.
On July 21, Iran signed an agreement with Iraq to deliver natural gas to its western neighbor.
Based on the agreement, 25 million cubic meters of gas will be delivered to power plants in Sadr, Baghdad and al-Mansouryah through a 270-kilometer (167-mile) pipeline, which is estimated to earn Iran USD 3.7 billion a year in revenue.
Earlier this month, Iranian Energy Minister Hamid Chitchian said the Islamic Republic will raise its electricity exports to its western neighbor, Iraq, under agreements inked between the two countries.
By Press TV
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