Minister: Iraq to Boost Imports from Syria, Jordan
Iraq has agreed to increase its annual imports from Syria and Jordan, Commerce Minister Mohammed Mehdi Saleh said on Saturday.
"We have agreed with Syria and Jordan to increase imports and bring them respectively to $1.5 billion and $1 billion before the end of the year," the official Iraqi News Agency (INA) quoted him as telling the Jordanian daily, Ad Dustour.
"The accords with Syria and Jordan were decided in line with our policy of strengthening cooperation with our Arab brothers," he said.
Syria and Iraq froze diplomatic relations in 1980 over Syrian support for Iran in the 1980-1988 Iran-Iraq war, but have recently stepped up their economic rapprochement.
The two countries, now tied by a free trade agreement, currently have an estimated $500 million in bilateral trade.
Jordan currently exports around $450 million worth of goods to Iraq as part of the UN oil-for-food program, which aims to lessen the effect of sanctions put in place due to Iraq's 1990 invasion of Kuwait.
Meanwhile, INA reported that a Turkish business delegation had arrived in Baghdad on Saturday and met with Deputy Prime Minister Taha Yassin Ramadan.
Ramadan praised the “deep and historic relations between the two countries,” but said that trade exchange between Iraq and Turkey “does not achieve what the peoples of the two countries aspire.”
The two sides discussed ways of boosting trade ties and plans to set up more joint ventures, said INA – Albawaba.com
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