TEHRAN - Iran exported $3.0 billion worth of commodities to Iraq during the first three months of the current Iranian year (March 20-June 20), registering a 27 percent rise compared to the previous year's corresponding period, the caretaker of Iran’s Commercial Consultancy Office in Baghdad said.

Farzad Piltan, also an advisor to the head of the Iran Trade Promotion Organization (TPO), said in an interview with IRNA on Sunday that the main exported goods included natural gas, fresh apples, iron, and steel ingots.

Tile and ceramics, watermelons, evaporative coolers, tomatoes, home appliances, gas turbines, PE compounds, hot-rolled bars, clinker, infant formula, and ice cream were among other exported commodities to Iraq, Piltan added.

Based on the statistics released by the Islamic Republic of Iran Customs Administration (IRICA), Iran exported $2.346 billion worth of non-oil products to Iraq in the first three months of the previous Iranian calendar year (March 21 to June 22, 2023), the official said.

Iran imported $107 million worth of goods during the three months to June 20, showing a 25 percent increase compared to last year ($85 million), according to Piltan.

Precious metals, aluminum alloys, tires, automobiles, and home appliances were among the main imported goods from Iraq during the period.

According to the head of the Department of Spatial Planning and Regional Planning of the Iranian Plan and Budget Organization (PBO), the Islamic Republic exports products valued at $12 billion to neighboring Iraq annually.

Speaking in a meeting titled “Reviewing opportunities and challenges of attracting Iraqi investors and strengthening trade relations between the two countries in line with demarcating Iran in the regional value chain” in early January, Jafar Hosseini said that Iraq, benefiting from $85 billion foreign exchange reserves, 130 tons of gold reserves, and 147 billion barrels of proven reserves of crude oil, is among the richest countries in West Asia.

He went on to say that Iran’s exports to Iraq have increased 15-fold over the past 20 years, rising from about $600 million in 2003 to more than $10 billion last year (ended March 19, 2024).

Currently, Iran exports over 2,200 various types of goods and products to Iraq, he said, adding that more than half of the active Iranian traders are present in the Iraqi market.

Developing the trade infrastructures to facilitate trade between the two countries, encouraging traders to invest in Iraq, promoting trade through dispatching and admitting trade delegations and participating in exhibitions of the two countries, etc. are suggested to strengthen the trade and economic relations between Iran and Iraq, he underlined.