Economy, Business And Markets

Exports to Iraq Could Hit $25b

Exports to Iraq Could Hit $25bExports to Iraq Could Hit $25b

Exports to Iraq totaled $13 billion last year but can rise to $25 billion, the secretary of Iran-Iraq economic development commission Rostam Qasemi has said, calling for a stronger role of Iranian businesses in the Iraqi market.

Addressing the 40th meeting of representatives of Tehran Chamber of Commerce, Industries, Mines and Agriculture (TCCIM), Qasemi highlighted the wide variety of Iraq market demands, adding that there are currently no limitations for exporting to Iraq and Iranian exporters are authorized to sell their products in the neighboring country.

Pointing to the presence of the terrorist Islamic State (IS) group in Iraq, Qasemi noted that the issue has caused turbulence in the Iraqi market.

“Before the presence of IS forces, exports to Iraq through Iraqi Kurdistan region was favorable because of low tariffs and compliance with Iranian trade standards.”

“But the presence of IS caused a 40% drop in Iraq’s total imports, which also led to a sharp decrease in Iran’s export of construction materials to Iraq,” added Qasemi.

However, he said, export of food products and medicine during this time has partially compensated the reduction in exports.

“Iraq imports $7 billion worth of medicine and medical equipments annually and Iranian products account only for a small portion of that, whereas Turkey’s contribution is $1 billion.”

The former Iranian oil minister announced the possibility of easing visa restrictions between the two countries, saying that “1.7 million Iraqis visited Iran last year and the number is anticipated to exceed three million should the visa formalities be eliminated.”