Iran plans to increase medicines exports to Iraq
Baku, Azerbaijan, Feb. Oct. 16
By Rahim Zamanov - Trend:
Iran plans to increase its medicines stuff exports to neighboring Iraq.
Rostam Qasemi, the chairman of Iran-Iraq economic development headquarters, said that Iraq annually spends $7 billion for medicines imports, Iran's ISNA News Agency reported on October 15.
"Turkey has already gained some $1 billion of the Iraqi market," he said, adding that Iran's share is only $8 million.
"Iran plans to double its non-oil exports to Iraq," he noted, adding that the country's construction materials exports to Iraq have decreased.
"Iran seeks to increase its non-oil exports to $200 billion by 2025 to become the major non-oil goods exporter in the region," Qasemi explained, noting that currently Turkey with $175 billion is the main exporter in the region.
Qasemi said last month that Iran plans to allocate $5 billion out of the National Development Fund to Iranian contractors active in neighboring Iraq.
He went on to note that all the domestic contractors need to help the Iranian government in order to snap the country's economy out of recession.
Qasemi said on March 10 that Iranian companies should boost presence in Iraq through implementing road and dam building, housing, industrial, as well as technical and engineering projects, the Fars News Agency reported.
The year 2013 registered high levels of commercial exchange between Iraq and Iran, which reached - according to both Iraqi and Iranian officials - more than $12 billion.
This comes at a time when the Iraqi government aspires to increase trade between the two, with a goal of $15 billion, according to a report published by Al-Monitor in December 2013.
Advisor to the Iraqi Prime Minister for Economic Affairs Abdul Hussein al-Anbaki said that the most common goods imported from Iran to Iraq are canned food - including canned cheese and dairy products - as well as soft drinks, meats, vegetable oil, household items and electrical appliances.
He noted that Iran has had an important weight in economic transactions with Iraq, notably since 2003, and pointed to the ease of commercial exchange between the two countries in terms of transportation and quality of goods, among other factors. Thus, according to Musawi, it is only normal for the two countries' commercial exchanges to increase.
Iran is currently exporting 24 billion cubic meters of gas to Iraq annually. Iraq also imports 400 megawatts of power from Iran, Tehran Times reported.
The Iranian Trade Development Organization announced in June 2013 that Iraq is the biggest importer of Iranian goods, affirming that 72% of Iran's exports go to Iraq. It also noted the Iraqi imports of Iranian goods have increased by 15.7% in comparison to last year.