The Egyptian government has lifted restrictions on the exports of locally produced products to Iraq, reported INA , the official Iraqi News Agency.
Cairo’s decision comes after the signing of a free trade agreement between Egypt and Iraq in January, and appears part of a general effort on the part of the Egyptian government to encourage the development of a free-trade zone in the Middle East and North Africa region.
However, despite its readiness to boost bilateral trade relations between the two countries, the Egyptian government has stressed that it does not intend to violate UN sanctions against Baghdad, which were imposed after the Iraqi army invaded Kuwait in 1990.
Egyptian exports to Iraq under the UN-sanctioned oil-for-food program equal $1.3 billion since the program began in 1995. These latest moves are expected to increase the value of Egyptian exports to Iraq to one billion dollars a year.
Some180 Egyptian participated at a recent trade fair in Baghdad, returning home with $228 million in contracts to export minibuses, trucks and buses, and $34 million in contracts to export construction iron.
This May, a consortium of Egyptian firms is organizing a fair in Baghdad for construction materials. — (Albawaba-MEBG)
© 2001 Mena Report (www.menareport.com )