Egypt's Charge d'Affaires in Baghdad Mahmud Sherif Rayhan, quoted by Al-Iraq newspaper, is optimistic about future bilateral trade under the United Nations' existing oil-for-food program, forecasting it will reach $2.5 billion in 2001.
Iraqi Trade Minister Mohammad Mehdi Saleh said trade between Iraq and Egypt within the UN's oil-for-food program stood at some two billion dollars a year.
The Egyptian Al-Gumhuria daily reported however that the overall value of commercial contracts signed between Egypt and Iraq since the implementation of the UN oil-for-food agreement in 1997 amounted to only $3.5 billion.
The minister added that contracts between Iraq and 15 Arab countries under the UN program amount to $10.645 billion, on top of six billion dollars for the private sector.
Egypt held third place in terms of trade volume with Iraq based on the agreement, following France and Russia. Egypt is the largest Arab trading partner with $2.485 billion, followed by Jordan with $2.237 billion and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) with $2.082 billion. ― (MENA Report)
© 2001 Mena Report (www.menareport.com )