Iran, Iraq could pump up trade to $20bn: Minister

Iran’s minister of finance and economic affairs says Tehran and Baghdad could pump up mutual trade to $20 billion.

Iran-Iraq trade currently stands at $12 billion if transit and tourism are also taken into account, said Ali Tayyeb-Nia, adding, “The figure could easily be increased to $20 billion, and we will reach this target in the near future.”

“A rise in Iran-Iraq transactions will serve the interests of both countries,” Tayyeb-Nia further said in a meeting Saturday with visiting Iraqi Finance Minister Hoshyar Zebari.

The two sides discussed mutual economic relations in the meeting, said the Iranian minister.

“In this meeting, trade and economic ties between the two countries were discussed, and we talked about some problems and limitations in [mutual] trade relations as well as in banking transactions and investment; solutions were also offered for them,” said Tayyeb-Nia.

Also in the talks, said the top Iranian official, the two sides discussed three agreements on customs cooperation, double tax avoidance and foreign investment.

“Part of these documents will be signed tomorrow (Sunday),” Tayyeb-Nia noted.

He further underlined that talks have also been held between the central banks of both countries, saying the two sides underlined that the talks should continue and that the ideas discussed should be realized in the near future.

The pipeline which would take Iran’s natural gas to Iraq (file photo)

Zebari, for his part, expressed delight over his visit to Tehran and meeting his Iranian counterpart, saying the two sides discussed a whole lot of economic issues, namely investment and facilitation of trade deals as well as mutual cooperation to upgrade bilateral economic ties.

Back in June, a delegation of Iranian traders visited Baghdad to discuss investment opportunities in the two neighbors.

Later that month, Iran’s Minister of Roads and Urban Development Abbas Akhoundi traveled to Basra to launch work on the construction of a rail track to connect the southern Iraqi city with the southwestern Iranian city of Khorramshahr.

By Press TV