Iraq discussing free trade zones with Saudi Arabia, Bahrain
Iraq is conducting negotiations with two Gulf kingdoms, Saudi Arabia and Bahrain, on the possibility of establishing bilateral free trade zones (FTZ), Iraqi Trade Minister Mohammad Mahdi Saleh told Al-Rafidain. An agreement in principle has so far been concluded with Bahrain while indirect discussions with Saudi Arabia are currently underway.
Having severed diplomatic relations during the 1991 Gulf War, Baghdad and Riyadh initiated a rapprochement at the Beirut Arab summit held in March 2002. Bahrain, who downgraded its diplomatic representation level in Baghdad to charge d'affaires, appointed an ambassador to the Iraqi capital only last April.
Seeking to enhance economic exchanges with its Arab neighbors, Iraq has so far signed ten free trade agreements—with Jordan, Algeria, Egypt, Lebanon, Oman, Qatar, Sudan, Syria, Tunisia, Yemen and the United Arab Emirates (UAE). — (menareport.com)
© 2002 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)