TEHRAN- Iran exported commodities valued at $2.961 billion to its neighbor Iraq during the first five months of the current Iranian calendar year (March 21-August 22), a board member of Iran-Iraq Joint Chamber of Commerce announced.

 

Hamid Hosseini said that the five-month export shows eight percent drop as the figure was $3.22 billion in the same period of time in the past year.

In terms of weight, the export experienced a 28-percent drop as well, from 12.152 million tons to 8.655 million tons, he added.

The value of Iran’s exports to Iraq rose 20 percent during the previous Iranian calendar year 1400 (ended on March 20) as compared to the preceding year.

As reported, Iran exported $8.916 billion worth of commodities to its neighbor in the mentioned year, making Iraq the Islamic Republic’s second-biggest trade partner.

Exports to Iraq accounted for 18.3 percent of the country’s total non-oil shipments in the previous year.

As stated by the chairman of the Iran-Iraq Joint Chamber of Commerce, Iran is planning to boost its annual trade with neighboring Iraq to $20 billion.

Speaking in a business forum between Iran and Iraq’s Kirkuk province last December, Yahya Al-e Eshagh said the Iranian and Iraqi governments are determined to develop regional cooperation in all areas.

“Despite all events that are happening in the region, the relationship between the two countries of Iran and Iraq are on the upward trajectory,” the official said.

The current administration of Iran under President Raisi has shown great interest in broadening and enhancing trade and economic ties with neighboring states, he emphasized.

Iran and Iraq signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) on economic cooperation back in January 2021, at the end of the fourth meeting of the two countries’ Joint Economic Committee.

During the committee meeting, technical committees were formed in various business fields to discuss technical and engineering services and other topics of interest. The meeting also proposed and supported the establishment of a joint investment fund between the two countries and hopes to continue its path.

Good agreements were also reached to review establishing a shipping corridor and increasing the number of Iraqi aircrafts passing over Iran.

In recent years, and especially under the sanctions condition, expanding trade with the neighbors and boosting export to these countries has become one of the major economic approaches of Iran.

Neighboring Iraq is attached high significance in this due, as Iran and Iraq are willing to increase bilateral trade to $20 billion.

Among the approaches that the Islamic Republic has adopted to strengthen its presence in the Iraqi market is taking part in that country’s exhibitions and also setting up exclusive exhibitions of its products there.

Meanwhile, the Iranian economic officials have emphasized holding such exhibitions for economic cooperation and business development in the region.

Last week, Farzad Piltan, the acting director-general of Iran’s Trade Promotion Organization (TPO)’s Office of West Asian Countries, while announcing the list of pavilions of the Islamic Republic of Iran in Iraqi exhibitions, informed the active presence of Iran in these events.

Stating that the Islamic Republic of Iran has wide participation in Iraq's exhibition events, he said: “In the framework of the development of economic diplomacy with neighboring countries with the focus on the private sector and based on the plans of the TPO in the field of introducing the country's export goods to the neighboring markets and also expanding the trade relations with these countries, including Iraq, we will have an active presence in the exhibition events of this country.”

The official also announced that 30 exhibition event including exclusive exhibitions of Iranian products as well as Iran's specialized pavilions in Iraqi international exhibitions in different cities and provinces of this country in the current Iranian calendar year is on the agenda.

Pointing out that so far five events from the series of the mentioned exhibition events have been held with the active presence of Iran in the fields of agriculture, livestock and poultry and food (Baghdad); reconstruction (Erbil); information and communication technology (Baghdad), electricity and energy (Baghdad) and construction and decoration industry and investment (Erbil), he said that 16 events, including three exclusive-specialized exhibitions of the Islamic Republic of Iran in the cities of Erbil, Sulaymaniyah, and Basra are on the agenda.

According to the official, the pavilion of the Islamic Republic of Iran is ready for the presence of Iranian companies in order to actively participate in Iraq's international trade exhibitions in Sulaymaniyah and Baghdad, and Iraqi international specialized exhibitions

Pilton also announced the holding of nine other exhibition events with the active presence of Iran in Iraq.