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Iran, Iraq seek to raise trade by 60% to $20bn

17 February 2015 9:59

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Iran and Iraq seek to increase the volume of their bilateral trade from the current 12 billion dollars to 20 billion dollars, Iranian Minister of Finance and Economic Affairs Ali Tayyeb-Nia says.

Tayyeb-Nia, who is accompanying Iran’s First Vice President Es’haq Jahangiri in an official visit to Iraq, told IRNA on Monday that his country has fertile grounds for trade cooperation with Iraq, particularly in the field of exporting technical and engineering services to Iran’s western neighbor.

The official also pointed to the reconstruction projects currently underway in strife-torn Iraq and said, “The Islamic Republic of Iran is ready to cooperate and provide technical and engineering services to this country, especially in the fields of construction of roads, power plants and dams.”

Tayyeb-Nia further referred to Iraq’s high oil revenues which, he said, created a good capacity for a boost in trade ties with Iran. The official also called for the removal of hurdles in the way of bilateral exchanges.

The Iranian finance minister noted that Tehran and Baghdad could also bolster cooperation in tourism, given the fact that millions of Iranian pilgrims visit holy sites in Iraq every year while many Iraqis also travel to Iran.

Heading a politico-economic delegation, the Iranian first vice president arrived in the Iraqi capital, Baghdad, on Monday for talks with the country’s senior officials.

In the presence of Jahangiri and Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi, Iranian and Iraqi officials signed 10 documents and memoranda of understanding for the expansion of cooperation in various sectors in Baghdad on Monday.

Iran and Iraq signed agreements to bolster cooperation in the fields of air and road transportation, tourism, geology and mines as well as finding a solution to the dust storm problem that has plagued the two neighbors.

They also agreed to hold the third session of the joint Iran-Iraq economic commission.

The two countries’ officials also signed documents to boost trade and animal husbandry cooperation and hold exhibitions.

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