Egypt and Iraq recently signed an agreement for bilateral cooperation in industry, trade and technical issues, reinforcing a recently sighed free trade agreement. The two countries also signed agreements to modernize Iraq's electricity industry and to set up jointly-owned sea and land transport companies, reported AFP.
The free trade agreement between Iraq and Egypt, which calls for the end to all customs barriers between the two countries, went into force in mid-August. "A clause in the free trade agreement permits other countries to join it and next year the Iraqi, Egyptian, Libyan and Syrian heads of government will sign an accord establishing a common market among the four countries," stated Iraq's Trade Minister Mohammad Mehdi Saleh.
Trade between the two countries within the UN's oil-for-food program stands at some two billion dollars a year, and Egypt is currently Baghdad's third-largest trade partner after France and Russia. Iraq has signed similar cooperative agreements with Syria and Tunisia, and further deals are planned with Jordan, Lebanon and Morocco. — (menareport.com)
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