Economy, Domestic Economy

Iran-Iraq Business Confab Underway

Iran-Iraq Business Confab UnderwayIran-Iraq Business Confab Underway

A two-day business conference between Iranian and Iraqi officials and businessmen opened at Iran’s International Conference Center in Tehran on Sunday.

It is organized by the Entrepreneurship Faculty of the University of Tehran, Iran-Iraq Chamber of Commerce and Iran-Iraq Economic Development Headquarters affiliated with the Presidential Office, IRNA reported.

"Today the two countries are more determined than ever to strengthen economic ties," said Mohammad Nahavandian, the president's special aide for economic affairs, in an address to conference.

In another address, Yahya Al-e Es'haq, the head of Iran-Iraq Chamber of Commerce, noted that Tehran and Baghdad have cooperated in political, security and military activities, but economic ties have not been as strong.

Al-e Es'haq considered problems regarding banking, transportation, visa issuance and customs as major hurdles on the way of the two neighbors in expanding economic relations.

According to the official, the two countries are pursuing an annual trade target of $20 billion.

"Iran's exports to Iraq stood at $3.168 billion during the six months to Sept. 22, registering a 5% rise year-on-year," said Deputy Minister of Industries, Mining and Trade Ali Yazdani at the forum.

Yazdani noted that Iraq's exports to Iran have decreased between 2012 and 2016 going down from $96 billion to $48 billion.

Secretary of Iran-Iraq Economic Development Headquarters Saeed Ohadi said Iran's annual capacity in technical and engineering services' exports stands at $25 billion, while Iraq's demand for technical and engineering services is $500 billion. Iran has only exported technical and engineering services to Iraq worth $1 billion annually.

The conference concludes on Monday.

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