News ID: 235856
Published: 0401 GMT December 15, 2018

Official hails growing trend in Iran's exports to Iraq

Official hails growing trend in Iran's exports to Iraq

Iran's exports to neighboring Iraq is witnessing an upward trend, said the secretary general of Iran-Iraq Joint Chamber of Commerce.

Hamid Hosseini pointed out that the daily value of Iran's exports to the Arab country stands at $45 million and sometimes the figure even reaches $70 million, reported Tasnim News Agency.

He noted that most of the oil and gas projects in Iraq are undertaken by European and Chinese contractors but he regretted that although Iranian companies have won bids to implement such projects in Iraq, a series of problems have prevented them from taking up the job.

Iraq's Foreign Minister Mohamed Ali Alhakim has made it clear that his country cannot cut off trade ties with Iran under the US sanctions, saying Iran-Iraq trade exchanges amount to $12 billion per year.

Meanwhile, Vice President of Iran-Iraq Chamber of Commerce Alireza Kolahi said that the two countries are finalizing one of the biggest electricity contracts to meet the needs of Iraq for turbines and electrical equipment at its power plants.

"The quality of Iranian electrical equipment is so high, that the Iraqi government has canceled its contract with the American General Electric, to import Iranian equipment," he said.

"Unfortunately, previous Iraqi Energy Minister did not cooperate with Iran in expanding bilateral trade. The minister prevented work of Iranian companies but the new energy minister is keen to cooperate, until now several agreements have been signed in the fields of energy which would be a positive step if they turn them into contracts," the official added.

"Iranian companies have been popular among Iraqi Shias and Kurds, after the defeat of Daesh in Iraq and the positive role of Iran in supporting the Iraqi people has created interest even among Sunnis," he said.

Kolahi noted that the trade between two countries in the past eight months has been effected by lack of private sector trust in government and the foreign currency revenue return declaration between customs and Iran exporters.

"According to statistics, in the past eight months, Iran exported commodities worth $64 billion to Iraq. Oil and petrochemical products and steel were the major exports, while small part of it pertained to the private sector. However the pressure of foreign currency rate effected Iran private sector," he said.

"The government needs to control the public companies, according to reports the allocated foreign currency of these companies did not return to Integrated System for Hard Currency Transactions (NIMA), and out of $27 billion earned from exports only $7 billion were paid back to the NIMA system. Public factories produce most of raw materials and their share in non-oil exports stood at $60 billion, while private company's share was only $7 billion," he added.

   
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