Yahya Al-e Es’haq, who heads the Iran-Iraq Chamber of Commerce, said that the value of Iranian exports to Iraq increased by 37 percent in the 12-month period, reported Press TV.
He said a major part of Iran’s exports to Iraq has been technical and engineering services offered to the Arab country by companies from the Iranian private sector.
Al-e Es’haq said Iranian contractors have been awarded more than $4 billion worth of projects in construction and industry sectors in Iraq, adding that more than half of those contracts are being executed.
The business magnate said the value of Iran’s exports to Iraq could meet a target of $20 billion in the near future, insisting that there were “some extraordinary areas for cooperation” between the two neighboring countries.
He said Iran’s booming exports to Iraq came against the backdrop of poor trade with Europe over the past years, adding that Iran only exported one billion dollars’ worth of goods and services to European countries in the 12-month period ending in March.
The comments came hours after Iraq announced that it had launched its own financial mechanism to settle payments with Iran amid some unprecedented sanctions imposed by the United States on Tehran’s trade and banking activities.
The mechanism will allow Iraq to pay for Iran’s energy in its own dinar currency and deposit it in an Iraqi account and then let Iran use the credit for the purchase of goods outside the country.
Al-e Es’haq said the special scheme has already been tested for Iraq’s payments for electricity imported from Iran, adding that it could be used for similar settlements with private exporters in Iran.