Iraq Holds First Motor Show in Decade
An international motor show opened in the Iraqi capital Sunday for the first time in 10 years, with manufacturers from six countries taking part.
"Iraq is a very promising market," said the country's Trade Minister Mohammad Mehdi Saleh at the opening of the five-day exhibition, which has attracted carmakers from China, France, Japan, Russia, South Korea and Vietnam.
Under sanctions since its 1990 invasion of Kuwait, Iraq has signed several contracts for car imports, including the purchase of more than 30,000 cars and buses built by Toyoto of Japan.
Baghdad is allowed to import essential goods under a UN program which authorizes the export of Iraqi crude to finance the purchases.
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 aging vehicles on Iraqi roads are in poor condition because of a shortage of spare parts -- BAGHDAD (AFP)
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