Jordan Trade Delegation in Iraq for Talks on Free Trade Agreement
A Jordanian trade delegation arrived in Baghdad Saturday for talks with Iraqi officials on expanding trade ties as well as signing a free trade agreement similar to the one signed with Egypt and Syria, said press reports.
Trade and industry minister, Wasef Azzar, was quoted by Reuters as saying that the talks will also tackle problems facing Jordan in exporting goods worth 450 million dollars to Iraq this year under a barter deal that ensures Baghdad supplies the kingdom with the majority of its energy needs.
A free trade agreement between Iraq and other Arab states stipulates the lifting of all customs barriers and an easing of the flow of goods to sanctions-hit Iraq, under a 10-year-old embargo following its 1990 occupation of Kuwait.
Last week, Jordanian private sector representatives demanded that the government sign a free trade agreement with Iraq.
Their call was followed by Iraq's trade minister, Mohammed Mahdi Saleh, who urged the Kingdom to conclude such an accord.
Last November, Jordan and Iraq renewed the $600 million oil protocol during Abul Ragheb's groundbreaking visit to Iraq, where he met with Iraqi President Saddam Hussein.
As part of this protocol, Jordan was scheduled to receive five million tons of oil and oil derivatives -- Albawaba.com
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