Iran, Iraq working on converting preferential trade to free trade

Business Materials 9 April 2019 08:08 (UTC +04:00)

Tehran, Iran, April 9


Shalamcheh-Basre railroad, joint border towns, free trade and issuance of visa without need to pay fees are the main focus of documents between Iran and Iraq, which are going to be implemented as the high ranking officials of Iraq traveled to Tehran.

Iran’s minister of Industry, Mines and Trade Reza Rahmani, at a joint meeting with the Iraqi Minister of Commerce, said that part of the agreements signed between the two countries was implemented, one of which was the non-receipt of visa fees between the two countries,” Trend reports citing the official website of Ministry of Industry, Mines and Trade.

"MoUs between Iran and Iraq cover such spheres as infrastructure, trade, road transport, consular issues, insurance, standardization and transit,” the minister said. “For example, MoU on construction of the Shalamcheh-Basra railway was signed in the field of railway transportation.”

Both countries have agreed to increase trade to $20 billion by 2021, he said and added that the two ministries will be at the center of this goal.

“In this regard, the preferential trade tariffs must be converted to free trade between the two countries, in which we need to instruct the working groups to initiate talks,” said Rahmani.

Referring to building a joint border town, he said that joint committees must begin their activities to provide conditions.

"The approval of the Standard Company is one of the demands of Iran, which facilitates trade between the two countries," he said, stressing the need to form a joint trade committee.

Iraqi Minister of Trade, Abdul Majid Jassim, during a meeting with the Minister of Industry, Mines and Trade, referred to the visit of the Iraqi officials to Iran as a clear message of Iraq's interest in developing relations with the Islamic Republic of Iran, saying that relations between the two countries are rooted in thousands years.

He added that the plan of Iraqi prime minister is to boost economic relations with neighbors, especially with Iran.

The Iraqi Minister of Commerce, referring to the signing of the agreements by the two countries in Iraq, said that the most important clause of these MoUs is the exemption from paying the visa fee between the two nations.

Abdul Majid Jassim called the Shalamcheh Rail Route to Basra the most important agreement between the two sides and said that the agreement on the construction of the railway has already been signed.

"Iraq is ready to develop relations with Iran, despite US sanctions.”

Pointing to the issue of exemption from customs tariffs for Iranian goods, the Iraqi Minister of Commerce added that Iraq has same agreements (exemption from customs tariffs) with other countries, including Jordan, though Iran needs more talks and expert reviews.