Economy, Domestic Economy

Iran Wants Bigger Share of Iraq Market

Iran Wants Bigger Share of Iraq MarketIran Wants Bigger Share of Iraq Market

A business delegation headed by First Vice President, Es'haq Jahangiri will leave Tehran for Baghdad on Monday to discuss further expansion of bilateral trade ties.

The delegation, including a number of government officials and private sector businesspeople, is scheduled to meet with Iraqi officials and attend a three-day special exhibition of Iranian products in the Iraqi capital Baghdad, Eghtesad news reported on Saturday.

In light of the improving security in Iraq and the Iraqis' tendency to ban the import of products from countries such as Turkey that allegedly supported the IS group, Iranian traders now have a great opportunity to seize the lucrative Iraqi market.

“Iraqis currently prefer the Iranian products to any other products. This provides a unique opportunity for Iranian traders to conquer the Iraqi market,” said the head of Iran-Iraq joint chamber of commerce, Yahya Al-Es’haq, who is also travelling to Iraq as part of the delegation team.

  Security Concerns

In separate remarks, Iranian attaché in Iraq, Ebrahim Rezazadeh on Saturday assured the Iranian traders about Iraq’s security, saying: “Around 65 percent of Iraq’s population live in Shia-majority areas, which are safe and accessible to the Iranian traders.”

He further noted that while 95 percent of the goods in Iraq’s markets are imported, Iran accounts for only 20 percent of this market, ILNA reported.

Citing adjacency to Iran as an advantage of engaging in trade relations with Iraq, he said close cultural relations between Iraq and Iran makes the Iranian products more desirable among the Iraqi people.

Most imports are exempt from tariffs and other taxes in Iraq, making it hard for the Iranian products to compete with the Chinese, Turkish, Syrian, Indian, and Pakistani exporters, said Rezazadeh, suggesting that Iranian traders register firms and agencies in Iraq in order to gain a foothold in the Iraqi market. He also suggested exporting final products instead of raw materials to help improve the domestic economy.

The special exhibition of Iranian products is scheduled to be held from February 16 to 19 in the Iraqi capital, Baghdad. Some 250 Iranian companies will take part in the exhibition to showcase their products and services in various fields such as oil industry, construction, water and electricity, pharmaceutical products and medical equipment, technical and engineering services, food industry, home appliances, detergent materials and automotive industry.

Iran exported $5.3 billion worth of non-oil products to Iraq in the first ten months of the current Iranian year (March 21, 2014 - January 20, 2015), while the value of the exported technical and engineering services stood at $400 million during this period.