The Iraqi minister of commerce, Mohammed Mahdi Saleh, recently stated that discussions are currently underway between Iraq and the UAE for the establishment of a joint free trade zone (FTA), reported Al-Bayan daily.
The proposed FTA would facilitate the export of merchandise to Iraq via the Emirati ports without the need for customs fees or import permits.
On a recent trip to Dubai, Saleh added that he expects both states to soon sign the agreement. The new zone would significantly boost Iraq’s external exchanges, which currently stand at approximately $22 billion. More than $10 billion of the total amount is attributed to Iraq’s Oil-for-Food plan, which has been implemented since 1997.
Iraq’s major Arab trade partners are Egypt, with $2.485 billion in annual exchanges, Jordan with $2.037 billion exchanges, the UAE at $2.02 billion, Tunisia at 1.075 billion, Saudi Arabia with $638 million bilateral trade, Syria at $547 million and Lebanon at $510 million. ― (MENA Report)
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