The free trade agreement between Iraq and Egypt, which calls for the end to all customs barriers between the two countries, is now in force, Iraqi Trade Minister Muhammad Mahdi Salah stressed Sunday, August 19.
"The free trade agreement, signed between Iraq and Egypt on January 18, came into effect in mid-August," Salah said, quoted by the official INA news agency. Iraq will also organize a trade fair in Cairo from September 15-25, a ministry official told Al-Rai weekly newspaper.
Relations between Baghdad and Cairo, which was part of the US-led coalition that ousted Iraqi forces from Kuwait, have greatly improved over the past two years. 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 behind France and Russia.
Iraq, although under UN embargo since its 1990 invasion of Kuwait, has since the deal with Egypt also signed free trade accords with Syria and Tunisia. Similar agreements are planned with Jordan, Lebanon and Morocco. ― (AFP, Baghdad)
© Agence France Presse 2001
© 2001 Mena Report (www.menareport.com )