Iraq orders import of French, German cars
Iraq has ordered the import of a batch of Peugeot and Opel cars, the Iraqi trade ministry said in statements published in the Nabdh Al-Shabab weekly on Monday, July 16. The paper did not give any further details on the order.
The announcement comes just a week after Trade Minister Mohammad Mehdi Saleh warned that France will no longer be given priority in trade with Iraq because of its backing for US and British efforts to slap "smart" sanctions on Baghdad.
Under sanctions for invading Kuwait in 1990, Iraq has signed several contracts for car imports, including the purchase of more than 30,000 cars and buses built by Toyota of Japan.
Malaysia's national carmaker Proton has also signed a deal to sell 5,000 cars to Iraq for $28.67 million under the UN oil-for-food program.
The humanitarian deal launched in 1996 allows Baghdad to export oil in exchange for food and other essentials, including vehicles.
But Iraq has almost halted large-scale car imports since 1990, largely due to the collapse of the dinar against foreign currencies. Most of the ageing vehicles on Iraqi roads are in poor condition because of a shortage of spare parts. ― (AFP, Baghdad)
© Agence France Presse 2001
© 2001 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)