Iran to open free-trade zone on border with Iraq

Business Materials 13 August 2008 16:45 (UTC +04:00)

Iran plans to establish a free-trade zone on its border with Iraq, Iraqi Ambassador to Tehran Mohamed Meguid al-Sheikh said Wednesday.

Ambassador al-Sheikh told Iraqi newspaper al-Sabah that the move was aimed at facilitating the fast growing rate of trade between the two neighbouring countries, expected to reach around 3 billion dollars by the end of 2008, dpa reported.

Trade between the two countries, which enjoy a 1,200-kilometre border, has boomed in recent years, growing from 1.5 billion dollars in 2006 to 2.2 billion dollars in 2007.

Meanwhile, Deputy Prime Minister Burham Saleh left Baghdad Wednesday for Tehran at the head of a governmental delegation on a three-day visit, a spokesman for the deputy premier said.

"The Iraqi delegation, including ministers and government officials, will discuss a number of economic and trade agreements to boost cooperation between the two countries in different fields," Taha al-Hashemi told the independent Voices of Iraq news agency.